Writing At Your Own Pace

September 22nd, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Author Alexander McCall Smith writes about his journey toward becoming a writer. In this three-part series, he notes:

I suspect that one of the best starts for an author is an unhappy one. It is by no means an original observation, but it is clear that writing is often a response to pain and loss.

He explores how life’s experiences inform your writing, even when they don’t seem to. He also looks at how writing slips into your life, sometimes unexpectedly or belatedly.

I started to write, as so many writers do, before I could write. This may seem a strange way of putting it: what it means is that few writers start off being able to write.

The essay series concludes as he looks at his most celebrated works and considers how his work has evolved. Though he doesn’t deny his talent, he also remains clear-eyed about his chosen profession:

I have been immensely fortunate. There are many writers in Scotland whose work is much better than mine, who have not had the good fortune which came my way. And I am conscious, too, of the fact that everything that has happened to the books has been the result of the help and commitment of others. I did not expect all this to happen, and I am greatly embarrassed by it. But, quite frankly, I get the most immense pleasure from the knowledge that my work is being read. I hope that this does not sound conceited, for it is what I feel, and what any author would feel

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