Its Tough Out There

If you were harbouring any ideas about the wonders of being a first time novelist, read this.

So its a tough world out there. Does this really take anyone by surprise? Are there people out there who think establishing a career as a professional novelist is just a matter of pitching up on an MA and then scratching down 80k on a notebook whilst sipping espresso? Then BINGO, Booker prize?

And even for the more realistically minded there isn’t any formula for success, any more then there is any guaranteed method for beating the roulette wheel. There are some ways of improving the odds – develop technique and style, know your genre, take every opportunity to meet writers, editors and agents. (Or of course side-step all the above, become a D-list celeb and hire a ghost writer).

So given the steep odds of success and the huge effort involved, why bother tapping out that novel at all.

Oh yeah, thats right. I remember now!

Because you enjoy it.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Director of creative writing at UoL, published with OUP and Cambridge. Currently travelling the world and writing a book.


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