Last December, on a work trip in Israel, I had the chance to meet an author whose books I have been reading basically half of my life. The meeting was one of the highlights of my career. It was interesting especially as I myself am just writing my first book and know how hard it is even if the subject of the book is something you have a passion for. Writing an article for a magazine can be sometimes difficult, especially if I don’t relate to the subject. But still you can always pull together something and find an interesting angle… and get rid of it in a day or two.
But writing a book is a really hard and extensive work. This is how Amos Oz explained it: You take a word with a pincers, examine it in the light, put it in a sentence. You take another word, examine it too, throw it away. You take the third one, put it in a sentence, remove the first one… Amos Oz said that an author writing a 70 000 word long book needs to take over 250 000 decisions like that. More than any government takes in three years. And that’s the difference of a good writer and a bad writer. The words.
You can see the results of this meeting in Askel 30 year special edition published in February 2013.