Thursday, May 17, 2007

Interview with Alan Garner

The Guardian has an interview with Alan Garner in their "Why I Write" series. As I've mentioned here before I read his The Owl Service at school and it scared me so much it took me over 25 years to go back and re-read it, and then I couldn't stop reading his books (you'll find reviews of nearly all his books somewhere or other on this Blog). I also went to hear him speak at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature last October, which was a fascinating treat. Anyway this brief interview is interesting. I particularly liked the following two exchanges:

What advice would you give to new writers?
AG: Get on with it and don't ask for any advice. If you are going to write, nothing will stop you and if you are not going to write, nothing will make you.

What do you need to write?
AG: Dedication, without compromise.

I've had friends comment on the amount of time I devote to my writing (both non-fiction and fiction) - and my response has always been along similar lines to Garner's - if you want to do a thing well you have to practice and practice and practice - and that means dedicating yourself to it (be it writing, playing the sax, painting or whatever) 110% as far as I'm concerned.

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