A Writer’s Other Life

The anticipation is building for The Press Christchurch Writers Festival! Can you feel it? CAN YOU FEEL IT??

I’ll be front and centre at one of the festival’s highlights– Hot off the Press on Friday 10 September. One of the four authors reading from ‘some of the best new books around’ for this event will be Wellington-based author Craig Cliff.

I’ve started reading Cliff’s debut short story collection A Man Melting: Short Stories. (Love it so far! I’m a sucker for well written short stories with resolutions that don’t leave me depressed!) But before I even got to the first story, I found myself pondering the bio. One sentence in particular:

These days [Cliff] lives on Wellington’s south coast and works for the government.

Works for the government?

Yes, yes, it’s no challenge to find info online about Cliff: that he’s won the Katherine Mansfield Award in the Novice Section, that his works are published in numerous literary magazines, that he tried writing a million words in one year. But what about this work reference?

I tend to think of writers as solitary individuals slaving away before antiquated computers in stuffy attics all day, every day. (An egregious assumption, I’m sure.) So, a question remains for writers who don’t write full-time:

What do you do in your other lives?

8 thoughts on “A Writer’s Other Life

  1. Mojo-Jojo 31 August 2010 / 3:44 pm

    My partner once met man who worked in some secret-squirrel capacity in the U.S. When asked what he did, he would reply with “I work for the government.” Apparently the sentence had a very audible full-stop.

  2. mj 31 August 2010 / 5:10 pm

    I *love* the cover art for A man melting.

    And I too work for the government (no audible full stop).

    As for “What do you do in your other lives?” I shall not reveal more than, in one other life, it involves needles, in the other life, it involves keys.

  3. Rachael King 31 August 2010 / 8:01 pm

    Look after children. Mentor other writers.

  4. Poppy 31 August 2010 / 8:29 pm

    Affect sophistication and suffering while wearing a fedora.

  5. Craig Cliff 31 August 2010 / 10:41 pm

    In my spare time it seems I google myself…

    Really looking forward to the Chch Writers Fest (my first as a writer rather than an audience member).

    I wish there was a secret-squirrel aspect to my day job — the truth is much more boring.

  6. Bill Nelson 1 September 2010 / 8:19 am

    A fair proportion of the writers I know work for the Government. Sigh.

    Anything and everything is fair game though when you are addicted to doing something that pays virtually nothing.

  7. purplerulz 3 September 2010 / 10:25 am

    I work here at the library and let time go by when I should be writing! I am still submitting work, some gets published, some doesn’t, most sits in my computer half completed! I was just thinking last night actually how there are characters stuck in my computer that have yet to have a life, half formed, their stories incomplete. I’m a cruel task master!

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