‘I set myself a schedule of three to five pages a day’

“With more than 40 works, five Man Booker nominations and a win under her belt, does she consider herself prolific? She scoffs at the word. “Joyce Carol Oates is prolific; I’m just old,” she says, drawing out the last word for laughs. At 75, she says writing hasn’t become any easier, listing her main distractions as laundry and emails. She sets herself a “schedule of pages rather than a schedule of times” aiming to write three to five pages a day. “You can cheat by increasing the type size,” she says. “Then you get really motivated and feel like you’re really speeding along.””

Man Booker-winning novelist Margaret Atwood explains how her dystopian visions of future are always inspired by the real world

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