Skip to Content

'The dream transaction'

1 January 2018

'A published writer has people pay to read the manifestations of her imagination, soul, and heart. For me, that remains extraordinary. It will always be the dream transaction for me, but it is also the most exposing, the rawest, unavoidable, supremely important fact in my life that I have battled desperately to understand and get a handle on these past three years. It's a rockier path, certainly, knowing you are going to be held publicly accountable, knowing that your personhood will be as relevant to your artifices when it comes to talking about the work. I know I'm not alone in this battle and I am grateful to the other writers who have spoken to me about this on the way, sometimes reaching out without me even having to ask.

My own lack of anonymity when I publish is something I am coming to accept. I handed it over without even thinking about it. I made a pact with the kindly devil with my eyes wide shut, but I do not regret it. Having my novels bought and read has been the best thing that ever happened to me. Sometimes, however, the things that are best for us are not always the easiest. I do regret my inability to find my pause button, but maybe writing that regret here will enable me to locate that mysterious setting inside myself? I want to write, and write well, and that's nearly all I ever want to do...'

Jessie Burton, author of bestselling The Miniaturist (just very successfully made into an excellent BBC One two-parter) and The Muse on her website