John Crace (Guardian books blog, “Don’t give up the day job“) with a bit of perspective on the dream of becoming a writer. Not that it’s hard to find this kind of perspective, but it never hurts to hear it again. Wait a minute, it does hurt. Reminds me of the line in Spinal Tap where the band is gazing upon the grave of Elvis Aaron Presley — too much perspective.
A few choice bits:
What people really want… is to be broke.
It’s not even as if writing is that glamorous. You sit alone for hours on end honing your deathless prose, go days without really talking to anyone and, if you’re very lucky, within a year or so you will have a manuscript that almost no one will want to read.
Few jobs allow a purer expression of the self. You can create your own worlds, your own characters and your own stories; the only limit is your own imagination and talent. And this is where, you can’t help feeling, the whole thing begins to fall apart.
One of the pleasures – and nightmares – of writing is that most of us can do it.
Update: This post has been edited to remove my pathetic substitution of Jim Crace for John Crace. Sorry, John. And Jim. Would have helped if I knew what either of you look like. (And would one of you be so kind as to start using a middle initial? Thanks!)