I think young writers should get other degrees first, social sciences, arts degrees or even business degrees. What you learn is research skills, a necessity because a lot of writing is about trying to find information.
When I first started to get into writing, it was via music. I'd generate ideas for songs that would turn into stories, then they'd turn into novels. I was biased toward music.
Basically, particularly in Britain, it's a hegemonic thing that people who write tend to come from the leisure classes. They can afford the time and the books.
I spend so much time on the screen when I am writing, the last thing you want to do is spend more time on the Internet looking at a screen. That's what I hate about all this technology.
When I'm not writing, I read loads of fiction, but I've been writing quite constantly lately so I've been reading a lot of nonfiction - philosophy, religion, science, history, social or cultural studies.
There is a kind of mysticism to writing.
When people start writing there is this idea that you have to get everything right first time, every sentence has to be perfect, every paragraph has to be perfect, every chapter has to be perfect, but what youre doing is not any kind of public show, until youre ready for it.
Writing is about culture and should be about everything. That's what makes it what it is.
Every kind of book I've written has been written in a different way. There has not been any set time for writing, any set way, I haven't re-invented the process every time but I almost have.
I tend to read more nonfiction, really, because when I'm writing I don't like to read other fiction.
The establishment, the newspapers, they try to create something called Scottish literature, but when people are actually going to write, they are not going to necessarily prescribe to that, they'll write what they feel.
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