Writers do not thrive as parts of a machine.
It’s a peculiar thing. By far the majority of writers with whom I have worked for the last few years are driven to be writers by something not quite consciously defined. Even when they try to give it up, they find that short stories or poems or ‘drabbles’ leak out from time to time. Something seems to be at work just below analytical awareness with most of them.
That ‘something’, whatever it is, makes ‘the writer’ almost a separate breed of person — though arguably everyone is a writer, and only some know it.
Let’s call this hidden urge ‘creativity’, for want of a better term. Why better? Because ‘creativity’ doesn’t quite give the right impression: it suggests that we are plucking things from the air somehow, which isn’t quite what happens. But ‘creativity’ will do for now.
For many writers, it seems that they are intended by this creative urge to be diverse, to do diverse things, to have many skills. The writer who goes on a visit to the countryside and comes back to pen his own poem cuts a lot of dullness out of his life and furthermore gets a better trip to the countryside. He gets good exercise turning the wheels of his vocabulary too. And any writer can dig up some of her early material, put some of those dreary formulaic romances or science fiction pieces on the scrap heap and grow her own fictional take on love or the conquest of the stars.
A normal imagination can probably generate enough short stories to keep a family.
I knew a woman who wrote some of the most beautiful prose I’d ever seen which flourished precisely because she lived a reclusive life, though she didn’t see it that way for many years.
Good luck and long life to all writers! And if every reader learns from them something useful to him or her not known before, or feels through their work some emotion or subtle combination of emotion unobtainable elsewhere, then I shall be happy and feel that the hard work that I do as a publisher and the hard-working and dedicated people who have done the very arduous and difficult work of putting stories together and then laboriously submitting them to the world, have not worked in vain.