Thursday, 10 April 2014

WRITERS ON WRITING #47: W Somerset Maugham

...I began to meditate upon the writer's life.  It is full of tribulation.  First he must endure poverty and the world's indifference; then, having achieved a measure of success, he must submit with good grace to its hazards.  He depends upon a fickle public.  He is at the mercy of journalists who want to interview him, and photographers who want to take his picture, of editors who harry him for copy and tax-gatherers who harry him for income tax, of persons of quality who ask him to lunch and secretaries of institutes who ask him to lecture, of women who want to marry him and women who want to divorce him, of youths who want his autograph, actors who want parts and strangers who want a loan, of gushing ladies who want advice on their matrimonial affairs and earnest young men who want advice on their compositions, of agents, publishers, managers, bores, admirers, critics, and his own conscience.  But he has one compensation.  Whenever he has anything on his mind, whether it be a harassing reflection, grief at the death of a friend, unrequited love, wounded pride, anger at the treachery of someone to whom he has shown kindness, in short any emotion or any perplexing thought, he has only to put it down in black and white, using it as a theme of a story or the decoration of an essay, to forget all about it.  He is the only free man.

Cakes and Ale (1930)

Click HERE to read a short biography of British novelist, short story writer and essayist W SOMERSET MAUGHAM.

You might also enjoy: 
WRITERS ON WRITING #46: Richard Bausch
WRITERS ON WRITING #1: Ford Madox Ford

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