Writer’s Desk: Wodehouse Kept It Simple

wodehouseP.G. Wodehouse (1881–1975) didn’t live to such a ripe age by worrying about things, like directions or keeping cash about the place.

In this 1975 interview from the Paris Review, he lays out a brisk but simple writing schedule:

I still start the day off at seven-thirty. I do my daily dozen exercises, have breakfast, and then go into my study. When I am between books, as I am now, I sit in an armchair and think and make notes. Before I start a book I’ve usually got four hundred pages of notes. Most of them are almost incoherent. But there’s always a moment when you feel you’ve got a novel started. You can more or less see how it’s going to work out. After that it’s just a question of detail…

Wodehouse made a living out of making his comedy, in the Jeeves books and others, seem effortless. But when a writer has more notes than final pages, clearly there was more going on under the surface than meets the eye.

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