A Writers’ Life For Me

“It’s mad. It’s a horrible job. It doesn’t pay well. It’s lonely. It’s depression-inducing. It’s frustrating. There’s no fun to be had. But everyone has a drive to be a writer. And everyone thinks they can do it.

“Whereas to be one is some sort of mental derangement. They’re all bonkers. When my writers say they could earn more money at the till at Sainsbury’s, I say, well go and do it. There’s no point writing unless you feel that you have to do it. You have to really want to do it and to be prepared to suffer to do it. Or you really might as well go and work on the till at Sainsbury.”

Alexandra Pringle, Editor-in-Chief, Bloomsbury

0 thoughts on “A Writers’ Life For Me”

  1. Mark, would you agree with what Alexendra Pringle writes above? While I’m sure writing has its downsides, surely it can’t be as bad as the dismal picture Pringle paints. Or do I detect some tongue-in-cheek between the lines?

  2. I think she’s speaking honestly. The vast proportion of writers can’t make a good living out of the profession and do face a lot of financial hardship. The desire to do it really does come from a creative drive that has to be fed – a compulsion, really.

    Personally, I don’t recognise my life in her statement. I’m very happy doing what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. As someone who once studied economics, I understand the need to put a value on all aspects of the job, and not to concentrate purely on the financial rewards. Not having to work in an office or suffer office politics, choosing when I work, immersing myself solely in the world of the mind, all contributes a great deal to the richness of the work.

    And frankly I don’t know a single writer who writes for the money alone.

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