The art of not writing – some practical guidance

  I recently came across a literary quotation by Hugh Grant. Asked by an interviewer about whether he wanted to write, he came up with an impressively honest answer. ‘It’s actually more comfortable to think I could write a novel than to discover that you can’t,’ he said. That spoke to me, as I go […]

The Seven Ages of Authorhood

  1 Even as a mewling and puking infant, he shows signs that one day he will be an author. There is something about how he grips his copy of The Cuddly Cloth Kitten in his little hand, the way he looks out of his cot, observing the world around him with oddly knowing eyes. […]

My 10 Writer’s Resolutions for 2015

On a home-alone New Year’s Eve, I find myself sternly noting resolutions to myself  for the creative year ahead (the personal resolutions can wait). Of course, they may not work for everyone…   Enjoy yourself at work. Even when it is deadly serious, writing should have a bit of skittishness and fun to it.   […]

Where writers go wild

Literary purists – JM Coetzee, Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, myself – like to argue that the writing of fiction is a solitary, often anguished, occupation. Increasingly, though, the idea is taking route that writing can be a social, even larky pursuit. The Quill and Quire blog has picked up a story suggesting that 18th century […]

A blog virgin confesses…

Oh, bugger. At the very moment when finally – and nervously – I am joining the blogging community, the whole thing is slipping out of fashion. In a brilliant Observer article about writing in the digital age, Tim Adams refers to a backlash against online communication. “The capacity for rigorous sentence construction… is being replaced […]