Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Peter Carey on Writing in New York.

In the New York Magazine, Peter Carey (author of Theft and My Life as a Fake) writes how tough it is for a young aspiring writer to make it in New York:
And here is what seems most insane—young and not-so-young writers take out student loans to get M.F.A.’s in creative writing. This does not add up. I once taught in the M.F.A. program at Columbia, and so I know the extraordinary gifts that student debt can confer. But the Marshian in me says it’s impossible to start a life committed to literary fiction when you are $60,000 in debt. The very size of the loan assumes there is a market, a business to go into, a living to make. But the hard truth is that only a sucker writes literature with the intention of making money.
Emphasis mine. It's true of course. Why should anyone even think they can make money off of literature? Sure, some authors make it big *cough*Rowling*cough* but many others don't.

Also in the article, Peter Carey writes that it seemed easier for him to create literature when he was back in his quiet town of Bacchus Marsh, Australia in the 60s. There were no literary agents and indeed the term "Australian Literature" didn't even exist, or at least not in the minds of the London-based publishers. Yet, compared to modern day New York, he feels it would have been easier for the young, aspirant writer to come up with some good writing. No distractions for one.

Sometimes I feel the same way with KL. Too many distractions. It takes me away from my writing. And if you're not writing, then what's the point?


  1. Yeah man. Lots of distractions. Of course, no.1 is the Internet! hehe

  2. Tee internet would be my number 1 choice too!


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