Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction, takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say.
Oh how I can relate to this! Well, more so around writing non-fiction as that’s my thing -but it still resonates. It’s a quote from Raymond Chandler, used in a Guardian article about the Christopher Bland prize which is awarded to a first novel or work of non-fiction published when the winner is 50 or older.
Like many other people who love to write but aren’t yet published, I probably spend way too much time ‘practicing’, ‘perfecting’ (and definitely ‘procrastinating’…) and not nearly enough time doing what needs to be done if I want to be ‘published’.
The article was published in 2018, but I’m glad I stumbled across it now – it’s timely and reminds me (yet again) that it’s never too late for anyone who loves to write to take those next steps. After all, as Gillian Slovo – the first Chair of the Christopher Bland prize – says, ‘like Chandler and many other older writers, some of whom I hope soon to read, the writing became the one thing worth perfecting….’