Some people really do change your life. This is an article by Robert Ferrigno whose life really was changed by Elmore Leonard, a great writer but an even more incredible person as this post by someone whose life was changed by Elmore Leonard can attest. A section from the article where we find the advice that Leonard offered. It’s a short article and it’s worth reading it all:
What time you get up? he asked me.
Seven, I told him. I have to be at the office by nine.
It was the same way at the agency, he said. You want to write a novel, you have to get up at 5. That way you have two hours every day to write before your normal day begins.
Five a.m.? I’m a night person, I said.
Mr. L. smiled again. Gave a little shrug.
Okay. I’ll get up at five.
You get up at five and you start work, said Mr. L., no messing around making coffee or buttering toast. You sit down and start writing. At 7 you stop, if you’re in the middle of a sentence, you stop, and then you make coffee, take a shower, have breakfast, whatever you normally do. You’re done working on the novel for the day. You do that every day and at the end of a year, you’ll have a novel. Then you send it out to an agent and you start on the next one.
Sounds just like Trollope.