Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville does not seem to be the sunniest person to be around when trying to finish a book. According to this interview in The Daily Beast, his wife has reportedly described his personality while writing as being like “a murderer who’s just come back from a particularly bloody killing.”
So perhaps it is not surprising that he is not one for giving advice to other writers:
When young writers approach me for advice, I remind them, as gently as I can, that they are on their own, with no help available anywhere. Which is how it should be. Like Popeye, I am what I am…
Though being reminded that it is all up to you is not-unhelpful. Meaning that Banville, despite his protestations, actually is giving advice.