I’d never heard of Laurie Penny until yesterday when he saw her participating on a discussion panel on the ABC TV show Q&A.
That particular episode aired a couple of months ago and I watched an on-line recording.
She and I would disagree about many things, but I thought she made some very insightful contributions to the discussion on a few different topics.
I decided to find out more about her and came across her article “Why I write”, published in the Spring 2014 edition of Overland.
It is an excellent piece of writing about writing and writers.
Here is a sobering excerpt from the article that I should remember every time my desire and/or ambition to be a writer starts to stir :
When it comes to being a writer, there are a couple of questions that really matter. Do you write? Would you prefer to put words on a page than almost anything else? Do you stay up late to write, get up early to write, escape your friends and partners and small children to be alone with words? Can you actually finish a story – have you mastered the habit of whipping your wild thoughts into a workable form, signing them off and letting them go? Do you have enough patience to sit with a manuscript for hours until it’s done, but enough impatience to chase a story through the small hours of the morning until you’ve caught and nailed it down?
Most importantly: do you read?
There is no universal writing life. But there are a few qualities that most of the really fantastic writers I know have in common – and the first of those is reading. Writers read widely and compulsively.
Full article here: