On working, writing, and doubting

This is required, relevant reading for any serious writer. Relevant!


I wrote this speech for an event at the Michael King Writers Centre in November. The event was called ‘The Business of Writing: Making a Living Through Words’. I was super scared to say my speech, partly because it was 40 minutes long and I knew I’d probably die up there, and partly because this speech doesn’t really have any practical ideas for making a living out of writing. Afterwards, someone kindly suggested I should do Toastmasters. So here it is!

The question of how to make a living as a writer is at its surface very simple. The answer is: you write whenever you’re not doing your real, proper job. The proper job, where you earn your proper living. The answer is: you feel grateful to have a job at all. The answer is: you tuck your writing away, like a cyclist rolling up one trouser leg so…

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