Hi there,

Like all writers, I get rejections and, occasionally, acceptances. While I continue to work on one new novel (and slice the innards out of another), I started to wonder why I do this to myself.

As John Seavey said in a review of my story Birth-Painsthe problem with writing from the perspective of something totally alien to human thought is that you wind up with something totally alien to human thought. Worth struggling through, but the very nature of it means you have to struggle.

And he was right. With the passing of history (Birth-Pains was my first published piece of short fiction – 10…ok, 15… years ago), I can take my glasses off and squint at the weaknesses of the story. It was really interesting given that one of the criticisms of the novel I am currently gutting and rearranging was that it was “too commercial”.

But isn’t that the point?

I would really like to sell this novel and become a hit NY Times best-selling superstar, But, for this particular reader, commercial equated to bad.

So looking back on the past 15 or so years, I’ve realised I want to be an author people read. Not someone worthy who they have to ‘struggle through’.

And I also reminded myself that the two terms are not mutually exclusive.