I was interviewed about my writing life by Madeleine Doré for Kill Your Darlings magazine. This is part of their new 'Extraordinary Routines' series.
Even at its best, writing is always precarious. To have the same success in almost any other field would give you a stable income and some degree of control, but in writing, even people who are doing quite well are doing badly next to other professions.
I think a lot of aspiring writers think, ‘Oh, it will be different for me.’ I think especially for young, male, white, middle class writers, there is a sense of entitlement there – they think, ‘Well that’s other people, but I’ll be the one who makes a living out of this.’
So it’s really important for anyone who aspires to being a writer to be accustomed to the fact that either they’ll need a day job – in which case they won’t be able to give their work the time they want to – or they’ll never have as much money as their friends who went into, say teaching, let alone some of the higher paid professions.
I think it’s important not to romanticise that relative poverty, because the important thing is to do good work and not be a shit – support fellow writers, give them opportunities when you can, be generous to readers, and be a generous reader yourself. That is what matters.
You can read the full interview here.