Marginalised as a writer

I feel marginalised as a writer.

I am marginalised to a large extent by personality. I am solitary and I am fastidious.

I hate the very idea of creative writing classes.

I think the classes which teach technique are teaching conventionality. And I hate the idea of workshops. Novels aren’t written by teams. They’re written by individuals, in solitude.

I hate the identification of writing with education.

I hate writers’ groups. I think the stuff they read is banal and the people are boring.

I hate the idea of criticism and feedback. I hate the identification of writing with learning.

I don’t like online forums. I don’t see why people need to look for motivation. If you want to do it, do it. If you don’t, don’t bother.

I am not motivated by money. I am uneasy about the notion of professional writing.

Words like creativity and originality have been devalued. It is difficult to say objectively that something is a good book or good writing.

There are so many writers. There are so many opportunities to talk.

It is so hard to find anyone worth talking to.

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Publishing and marginalisation

I am excluded from publishing.

I am marginalised in relation to publishing.

I am surprised to find myself thinking like that. I spent twenty years or more of my life being marginalised and excluded by childhood sexual abuse and mental illness. I resolved it through work. I am surprised – though perhaps I shouldn’t be – to find the same experience occurring again, in a different context.

I am not excluded just because of what other people are doing. I am also excluding myself because of the choices I make.

I am excluded from publishing by age and class.

Publishers will not consider a new author over fifty. They want time for you to develop what they think of as a career.

When I started being productive I was sixty-four. There was no way they were going to look at me.

Publishers are upper-middle class. They want authors to be upper-middle class.

I am not upper-middle class. I went to an upper-middle class university. I reverted to the default value.

I live a fairly bohemian life. My origins are lower-middle class.

I am not like the people who work in publishing.

I exclude myself from publishing by my attitude to editing. I won’t tolerate it. My attitude is simple. You touch my book. I break your fingers.

I exclude myself from publishing by my attitude to marketing. I do not like markets. I hate the mass market. I am not motivated by money. And I won’t do social media.

I am marginalised in relation to publishing by originality. My books are different. There is no comparison book.┬áThere is no comparison author. The sales and marketing team don’t know what to do with me.

I am marginalised in relation to publishing by radicalism. I hate inequality. I believe in the collapse of civilisation. Those are not views that upper-middle class readers can tolerate.

I publish myself.

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Reading and marginalisation

I am marginalised as a reader of fiction.

I don’t read genre. I don’t read literary fiction. I think literature is a problematic concept.

I don’t like the English novel. I don’t like European and American novels of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

I like Naguib Mahfouz. I like Lao She and Ma Jian. I like Dostoyevsky. I would probably like some of the other nineteenth-century Russians if I got around to reading and re-reading them.

I am not a book lover.

I would like to make contact with people who read the same things as me.

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