David Horwich: You’ve had an impressively prolific career as a writer. How do you maintain a high level of creativity and productivity? Do you have particularly disciplined working habits?
Robert Silverberg: Absolutely. When I’m working, it’s Monday to Friday, week in and week out, at my desk at 8:30 AM and finished at noon, never any deviation. I work flat out all that time, no phone calls, no distractions. This is my schedule from November to April; I rarely work at all between April and November, but when I do, in some special instance, I maintain the same steady daily schedule until the job is done. Until 1971 I worked a longer day — nine to noon, one to three — and my output was accordingly greater, but after that year I saw no need to push myself quite that hard. But even now, when I’m relatively inactive as a writer compared with my furious pace of decades ago, I feel no alternative but to keep to the steady schedule while I’m working: I simply know no other comfortable way to work.
DH: Have you ever run into writer’s block? If so, how have you dealt with it?
RS: There are plenty of days when I’d rather not go to the office and write. I write anyway, on such days. Once I get started, the reluctance usually disappears.