On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Wednesday, 30 March 2011


I met an author friend for lunch the other day who told me his books are scarcely edited at all, but published more or less as he delivers them. How very frightening that must be. I never cease to be amazed at what an editor (and in my case agent), or other critical reader can find - or not find, that I just can't see - but can, the instant it's pointed out. Blindness about the written word is just astonishing. The mistakes I've made, the traps I've fallen into, the opportunities I've missed... What other misconceptions do we have about ourselves? Certainly it happens with clothes - I can dress in the morning or buy a garment that seems ideal, and then, in front of a mirror later in the day - or more likely when a daughter passes comment - feel that the dress is terrible, doesn't suit, too long, too short. Just wrong. And I guess we have no idea what we look like - we see only our reflected faces in the mirror - and I have become aware, for instance, that the mirror I have used for the last thirty years gives me quite a different image to one in a different room. So it seems to me that we really need other people to build up a portrait of ourselves. Not too honest please about certain aspects of ourselves, but about work, yes please, every time.

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