On taking off clothes in front of friends

(Or: why I almost never agree to send my manuscript to my friends.)

It’s a bit like offering to take your clothes off and wait, naked, while they smile – politely – having spurred you on with nods and enthusiasm as though nothing else could be more usual for an innocent afternoon.

There are hundreds of books whose first pages I’ve read, or whose first paragraphs I’ve skimmed, before promptly dismissing them for some arguably flippant reason. Maybe I didn’t like the style, or the person in which it’s written. Maybe it was written in the present tense. Continue reading

Two Things

1. Writing is always a game of tricking yourself into productivity via reverse psychology (luckily, my subconscious doesn’t ever get the joke); when I sit down and intend to write absolute nonsense, in a mockery of myself, that’s when I write the good stuff. When I sit down to write the world’s most innovative, surprising, heartfelt prose, that’s when I decide I need a walk, and another cup of pomegranate green tea. Continue reading