Saturday, July 03, 2010

Hector Berlioz Understands What It's Like to be a Technical Writer

From p. 80 of the Dover edition of his memoirs:
When I talk of my laziness, it only applies to the writing of prose. I have often sat up all night over my scores, and have spent eight hours at a time laboring at instrumentation, without once changing my position; but I have to fight with myself to begin to write a page of prose, and about the tenth line or so I get up, walk about the room, overcome the weariness and fatigue which instantly overpowers me. I have to return to the charge eight or ten times before I can finish an article for the Journal des Debats, and it takes me quite two days to write one, even when I like the subject and am interested by it. And then, what erasures, and what scrawls! You should see my first draft!

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