Why I Write

21 July 2014

Thanks to the largesse of the estates of A.A. Milne, Somerset Maugham, et al, the Royal Literary Fund probably supports more living writers than many large publishers. It has just launched a website -http://www.rlfconsultants.co.uk – extolling the virtues of its Consultant Fellows (of whom I am one). One of its additional features (coming soon…) will be streamable or downloadable audio of a few us explaining why we write. Here’s the contribution I’ve just recorded (reproduced here in glorious black and white):

I write because when I was ten years old, my English teacher laughed out loud at a joke I wrote.
I write because my Dad once told me ‘There’s no money in that’.
I write because he was right; a bank statement with “OD” appearing on every line has just landed on my door-mat.
I write because it sure beats stacking shelves in Tescos.
I write because though some writers take ten showers a day, I find I can manage perfectly well with seven.
I write because everyone’s got a book in them and I want to get all mine published before the rush starts.
I write because I took my retirement between the ages of twenty and thirty when I could really get the most out of it.
I write because I need a displacement activity as a respite from my displacement activities.
I write because, like Writer’s Block, it’s all in the mind.
I write because it’s taken me places I could never have imagined when I was young.
I write because I can’t draw, sing or play a musical instrument.
I write because – in every sense – it’s all I can do.