I’ll just do the hoovering….

Iain Banks has admitted he is delivering his latest novel late after getting addicted to the computer game Civilisation. So bad was his addiction that the author of Complicity and the Wasp Factory was forced to smash up the CD and wipe all records from his computer. Procrastination is an art among writers, I have my own special WDAs (Work Displacement Activities) – Blog anybody?! They steal time and attention away from the day job, but as a working hack, I always meet my deadlines. Authors, it seems, are not so good, and one editor friend reckons as many as 30 per cent of manuscripts are delivered late. So what are the excuses used by writers? And why are publshers so understanding? Listen to a discussion on Front Row on BBC Radio 4 between myself and author and columnist DJ Taylor. Click here and go to the Listen Again box on the right hand side of the page and click on Friday. The discussion is about half way through the show.

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