Wednesday, 16 January 2013

"As far as I can tell, you remain a mystery to yourself until the day you die.” (Born Weird)

Yesterday I met the wonderful Andrew Kaufman (author of 'All My Friends are Superheroes', 'The Tiny Wife' etc) and we talked about novel-writing. I said my novel was eating my soul. He gave me this wonderful little advice-speech. I may print it out and stick it on my wall and make myself read it ten times a day:

Andrew: "You see, Jen, when you write a novel, there's this person in your head who you don't like to talk to too much. They say things like 'this has to change,' and 'this isn't good enough' and 'you're doing this wrong.' And you ignore this person for a while, until you realise that they're actually trying to help you. It's difficult because this voice, this part of you, wants you to write something that's going to tear you apart. It wants to completely dissect you and put you back together again, only differently - and you're not sure you can do it. It's difficult, very difficult, and you'll be somebody else by the time you've finished writing it. But it is possible, and it is necessary. If you feel like your novel is eating you alive, then you're probably doing something right."

I think I love him.

You should all go buy his new book, Born Weird. It's very good indeed. 


  1. Andrew's words speak volumes to me. Never met him but I think I love him too.

  2. Words of wisdom. Good luck with your novel. I hope to read it one day.

  3. Great advice indeed. Also, today I gave my friend a copy of weird things customers say in bookshops and she squealed with delight.