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The true life of the writer? Less drinking with adoring fans, more wrestling with the printer

The truth is that what writers do—the important part—is pretty boring

By Sam Leith   November 2017

Dominic West in the Affair. Photo: courtesy TV company

What is it that writers actually do? According to the movies, I mean. It’s a question sometimes asked of mathematicians (wander around looking into the middle-distance, apparently, before frantically scrawling equations onto a blackboard), often of scientists (white coats, test tubes, incomprehensible computer displays); frequently of special forces soldiers and spies (shoot stuff; grunt with pain; sleep with attractive women), and surprisingly often—usually unsatisfactorily—of authors and novelists.

I ask because I’ve been chortling my way through season two of the Dominic…

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