Lipton’s Journal/February 10, 1955/558
I have come to a conclusion about work. Which is that I must desert my old obsession with not getting overwhelmed and doing but one job at a time no matter how slow and painful it was, and instead I must take on a number of projects, novels, stories, articles, books-to-read, etc., and whenever I feel bored or worn out with one, I must leave it for the next. That way I think I could tap far greater productivity.
The key of course is to be concerned with the act of working itself rather than its issue or product. One reason I have gone at such a great rate in this journal is that I have not been much concerned with publishing it. If I ever decide to publish it which means revising, rewriting, censoring, etc. it will become slow hard and anxious work.
- ↑ Mailer took this advice and for the rest of his life worked on several projects simultaneously. Even when deep into writing a long work like Ancient Evenings (1983), he interrupted it to write an even longer one, The Executioner’s Song.