On writing (excuse me while I tap out my pipe and load some more tobacco, young people)

I am not George Orwell, nor was meant to be. I was just thinking about why I write – because I enjoy it! – yeah, but why* – and I remembered a little interview I did with Breach magazine, which I think may not exist any more because the links are all dead, where I said:

I struggle with perfectionism, and in my youth, I thought I needed to be
very serious in my writing: meaningful themes, social issues, political
commentary, and a sombre tone. I thought I had to be someone else, and
it was awful. Now that I am (much) older I am liberated from most of
that. Now I try to write David Stevens stories, not [insert name of Faber
and Faber writer or Granta Young Novelist] stories. They are my little
gems. They will never be reviewed in The Guardian. They are unlikely
to win prizes. They will be rejected by a lot of venues (I have been
rejected 127 times so far this year).

Sometimes I think the impulse is not much different from when I was a child, writing or drawing something, and running around poking it in the faces of the grownups, wanting to amaze them all, and sometimes they smile as they try to go back to the tv or their conversation, and really, who can blame them.

So, back to polishing those gems, something shiny for myself, because anything else is a waste of time.


*yes, you are correct, something(s) was (were) not shortlisted for some other thing, just now.


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