If I know where it’s going, it’s dead for me

There are a lot of good William Gibson interviews around at the moment as he roams the world promoting his new book, “Spook Country”. One I particularly like is in College Crier Online. There is a lot of interesting stuff in the interview, but the answer that really intrigued me is where he talks about surrendering control of the process of composing a novel. This seems to me to capture the space where real creativity takes place and one that frightens the shit our of the bureaucratic rationalists who want every thing predictable and tick-boxed. Read it and see what you think:
“…I don’t believe that didactic writing can be really good. If I’m figuring out what I think is going on the world, and creating a fiction to illustrate that, I don’t feel like really doing what I’m supposed to be doing. When I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, I feel like I’m sort of inviting those characters in for a cup of coffee. And if I surrendered control over the process sufficiently, I won’t know what will be there until the narrative closes. And then it will take me a while to figure it out. So when, in Spook Country , for instance, I was in that narrative for a long time. Months and months, with no idea what was in the box. I had no idea. I was hundreds of pages into it and had no idea what was in that container. Or rather, I had like a dozen different ideas of what was in the container. I had to let the narrative inform me of what it was. It’s a very uncomfortable way of working, but it’s the only way I know to write a book. In the beginning all I had was that scene that became the second chapter with Tito and the old man and I didn’t really know anything about them and I just kind of stuck with that for months. Then I got some early version of the Hollis stuff and somehow it built a bridge between the two things and this narrative started to emerge. That sense of “this is how things are” that I think you’re talking about is secondary. It may be there, but it’s secondary to the process of pulling that narrative out and finding where it’s going. Like if I know where it’s going, it’s dead for me. I can’t do it.”