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A vocation or a craft?

21 November 2005

'I cannot abide those writers who go out of their way to make what we do sound deeply magical; who, in doing so, mystify the craft of writing, going so far as to suggest that it is a vocation rather than a job. Whether it's talk of muses, or of an almost supernatural possession by one's own character, it always strikes me as bogus and smacks of someone who has ideas above their station. It is also insulting to those writers who work hard to craft their stories, doing detailed planning and research when necessary, and whose 1,000 words a day come from nowhere but their own imagination and natural facility with language.'

Mark Billingham in the Bookseller