Fleming, Ian Fleming

“If I wait for the genius to come, it just doesn’t arrive.”

That’s a modest statement from an author without literary ambitions whose books spawned the James Bond empire. Ian Fleming didn’t seem to think he was very talented – rather he scheduled “seat time” daily and wrote a novel in two months. Fleming kept up his writing pace through a glamorous lifestyle which included his Jamaican retreat and a steady diet of cigarettes and cocktails. In one aspect, his lifestyle sets an example for writers — that is to schedule time to work every day and not let lofty visions of literary excellence hold you back.

In a New York Times article titled Remembering Fleming, Ian Fleming the reviewer writes about a current exhibit on Fleming in London’s Imperial War Museum. Fleming had rich experiences to use for his books from his military career in World War II. It’s amazing that the man whose first book was Casino Royale also wrote the children’s book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Fleming’s approach to his writing reminds me of the words by Pablo Picasso, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

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