Perhaps it was Philip Roth's announcement that he's throwing in the pen that got me thinking about retiring from writing, but the thought has been skittering about in the darker corners of my mind over the past few weeks. It could also be a merely my usual pre-publishing state of mind. My Best Beloved assures me it is. (Although I have no recollection whatsoever of feeling this way just before my other books were published, when I say this he just chuckles.)
He may be right. Pre-publishing, by which I mean waiting for reviews (that I always fear may be scalding) and prize lists and sales figures, is a time fraught with neuroses, only to be surpassed by the moment of actual publishing.
However, apparently I'm not the only writer allowing the possibility of hanging up our pencils to slip out from between the book shelves. Bill Morris write a piece recently talking about it, and looking at some famous writers who pushed themselves away from the blank page.
So, I'm pondering.
Last year, when my novel, OUR DAILY BREAD, was nominated for the Giller Prize (THRILLING!), the idea flashed through my mind that it might be nice to win (for many reasons), but partly because then I could quit on a high note. To which I replied, HUH??? Who said that?
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