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Sunday, March 24, 2002

A question in on the FAQ line Is there any indication that someone should NOT be a writer? made me think of a mother and son, many years ago, at a Careers Evening at Whitgift College in Croydon, an old school, to which I had returned to be "the writer". Representatives of all professions were there. The civil servants and bankers and hotel management people were all in the main hall. I was off in a side classroom, in a corner with the freelance musician and the actor.

A nervous young man came up to me, accompanied by his mother. He looked at me and said nothing, in a kind of a panic. His mother announced, "Simon wants to be a writer."

"Oh good," I said.

"And what Simon wants to know most," continued Simon's Mother, "Is, is there a lot of job-security as a writer?"

"Ah," I said. "You want hotel management. That's in the main hall."

"Very good," she said. And she went away and took Simon with her.

And in answer to your question, if you worry about job security as a writer, that's a very good indication that you aren't a writer. Hating writing is another good one, although I know writers who hate writing. (They are miserable.)

Apart from those two, you're on your own.

There's a review of American Gods in paperback in The Times (the one in London; you can tell from that capitalised T in The.) It finishes "...His wit and sense of the marvellous shine through, making American Gods an absolute must for fans of the genre, whatever that may be." Which made me smile sympathetically. It's obviously genre fiction -- but which genre...?

...

At Aggiecon. Lovely people in abundance. Signed for several hours today, for lots of happy people.
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