Living on the Page

R.V. Cassill, in his book Writing Fiction, which is a book I’m a little obsessed with of late and which I’ve recently written about here and here, kind of makes it pretty clear that the thought of trying to make a living writing fiction is a bit of a pipe dream for all but a select and lucky few. Being a teacher of writing and a novelist published many times over, he ought to know a thing or two about that.

But he also has this to say:




Seems to me, if it’s worth writing about, it’s worth writing about well. And in order to write well, you kind of have to live well, don’t you? Makes sense, anyway. Not to “live well” in the capitalist sense, but to live well in the sense of being alive.

And then there is the trick of getting all of that onto the page.

24 thoughts on “Living on the Page

  1. I’ve discovered that writing, for me, well or poorly, saps life. It’s a trade-off. That, or I’m doing something terribly wrong (then again, I don’t write to be a writer…I just spend entirely too much time at a keyboard).


  2. If someone pointed a gun at your head and made you choose one thing, what would it be? So go ahead and point the gun, so to speak. At least one of the chambers is probably loaded if you’ve got anything inside you, and I’m betting you do. FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK (FIRE)


  3. It all seems a bit fanatical to me that. Isn’t it better to get out there and find something interesting to write about? I prefer the Lord Byron approach. He once said “Who would write, who had anything better to do?”

    Happy new year, sir! Looking forward to reading more of your short stories in 2016!


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