I was particularly pleased to read that Zoe Heller, author of the highly-acclaimed Notes on a Scandal, wasn't an overnight hit. That's not the sadist in me, it's just encouraging that she has found such success after being told that "With a lot of work this could be a quite interesting book - but only quite." Ouch.
I also really enjoyed the article by Jill Dawson about just getting on with writing - very apt for National Novel Writing Month!
"I can, of course, see the temptation of not beginning. Chiefly, not beginning sustains the belief that you are gifted, that the novel - when you one day get round to writing it - will surpass all others [...] Not beginning protects you from the disappointment - no, the shame - of reading what you have written and finding it rubbish. It also prevents you from an equally disturbing possibility: discovering that you can write."
This week I have been finishing a short story for the Ruth Rendell competition. It was a 1000 word limit which I found quite awkward - too long for flash fiction, but very short for a full story. I almost had the guts to try a second-person narrative. But not quite. I had written-off this story after a few drafts but when I read it again on Monday I decided to give it another shot and have ended up with one of my favourite bits of writing. Don't you just love that?
|The view from my desk.|
What is it that makes you glad to be a writer or to do your day-job?
I'll see you all in NaNovember and I'll leave you with another article quote, this time from Andrew Miller, about spending all our time creating fictional characters to answer the big questions of life:
"An odd use of time! An odd use of life. But there's a courage to it. Even, perhaps, a type of beauty."