A writer’s life

Whenever I turn the pages of the Guardian or the Observer, I am struck by the number of adverts for writing classes. For a moment, I imagine myself sitting in a small intense circle with other like-minded people, soaking up advice and inspiration from published authors. I can see us now, frowning with concentration as we sip fine espresso from white cups and nibble chocolate bourbons. Then my eye is drawn to the price of these creative indulgences. A weekend will cost you around £400. I stare, dumbfounded. Unless the cliché is entirely wrong and would-be writers are, in fact, eccentric millionaires, what struggling author can afford such incredible prices?

Because of this, I am thinking of suggesting to my book club that we set up an informal writers’ group in Fitton. I would, of course, be happy to discuss the success of my own book How I Seized Power: A Handbook For Leaders Everywhere which I believe will be snapped up, at any moment, by an ambitious publisher. I will happily divulge my writing practices (the peace and quiet of the early morning, Earl Grey tea, a background of Radio 3). I will explain that I was inspired by Tony Blair’s A Journey (what a modest title!). If there is time, we could spend a moment considering others’ fledgling attempts and try to work up a bit of enthusiasm for those who clearly don’t have a hope. Criticism, while necessary, will be moderated so that those with very little confidence won’t feel entirely crushed.

If you would be interested in joining such a group, please contact me by email as soon as possible. If there is a rush of applications, I will choose those whose appetite for culture most closely resembles the enthusiasm displayed by audience members of Radio 4’s Bookclub.

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