I wonder how writers would be described if they were listed in a book of pedigree like the American Kennel Club.

Writer: generally self-absorbed, well-able to spend many hours alone so easy to leave while you go to work,  comes in various colours, sizes and temperaments, but inclined to be worried about abstract or imaginative concerns—one suspects they have an active limbic system bordering on hallucinations, certainly they appear to dream for many hours. Responds well to affection, attention and laudatory comments. Can subsist on coffee.

While writers differ one from another, we share qualities that keep us producing: imagination, a fascination with words, and, surprisingly, regular writing habits. While writers will write in almost any situation—at the bus stop, at cafes (thank you J.K Rowling), at a corner of the kitchen table, in the morning, at midnight—most, from what I’ve discovered, commit to a regular schedule. When Norma Charles announced she has yet another book (Last Chance Island) ready for release at a trade publishing house, I know it doesn’t just suddenly appear. She has committed time and energy to it and planned to make it happen. That doggedly devotion to the craft of writing gives a lie to the notion of hard inspired writers dashing off an opus in a blitz of a week’s writing. That can happen, but in my experience, it is rare.

Most of us are workers, regular, consistent and persistent workers-albeit quirky, slightly off square and individual.




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