The Secret Life of Writers

Some fun points from Robert McCrum’s Fifty things I’ve learned about the literary life:

6. Christopher Marlowe did not write Shakespeare. Nor did Francis Bacon or the Earl of Oxford. Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. It’s a no-brainer. Just read the First Folio.

11. This is a golden age of reading.

15. You don’t have to read every book you buy, and you certainly don’t have to finish the book you’ve started.

20. Literary fiction is like sci-fi. It’s a genre.

46. Everything is fiction.

A few more I would add:

  • Everyone would tell you “You should write about this/That would make a great story.”  Most of the time you shouldn’t/it wouldn’t.
  • People will try to see themselves/other people you both know in your work.
  • Blogging doesn’t count as actual writing time.
  • The hardest part is sitting down and starting.

What have you learned about the literary life?

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