Writing for a Living

Award-winning author Colm Tóibín claimed earlier this year that he gains no enjoyment from writing.  The Guardian asked a slew of other authors whether or not they enjoyed writing for a living, and the answers were surprisingly mixed. This from the original interview with Colm Tóibín:

I write with a sort of grim determination to deal with things that are hidden and difficult and this means, I think, that pleasure is out of the question. I would associate this with narcissism anyway and I would disapprove of it.

And this from Will Self:

I gain nothing but pleasure from writing fiction; short stories are foreplay, novellas are heavy petting – but novels are the full monte. Frankly, if I didn’t enjoy writing novels I wouldn’t do it – the world hardly needs any more and I can think of numerous more useful things someone with my skills could be engaged in.

via Kottke

2 thoughts on “Writing for a Living

  1. david

    Just felt like noting–as evidence as my tab problem–that I still have a post from Kottke on this very story sitting open. He published it on March 5. Now that you’ve posted it I may actually get around to reading it.

  2. Lloyd Morgan Post author

    It’s definitely worth a read as each author provides a quote-worthy response: quite the rare event, I believe.

    Looking back through my RSS reader I noticed that I had ‘starred’ Kottke’s post: I evidently wanted to post it, forgot about it, and then re-discovered it (although I’m not sure I believe my conscious self, so I’m updating this post with a ‘via’ link).

    And I thought link-blogging was going to cure my tab problem. Evidently it hasn’t brought you any relief, either.

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