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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > November 2016 > Miscellany

Miscellany

THE WORLD OF WRITING

Comedy quibbles, the best baddies, romance reimagined, dark days and definining drive... serious matters weighed up in the wide world of writing

Drive to work

Ben Myers, of the New Statesman, reviewing DBC Pierre’s Release the Bats: Writing Your Way Out of It, referred to ‘the age-old question: can creative writing be taught?’

He continued: ‘To which the answer is invariably: well, yes, probably, a bit, to wildly varying degrees of success. To dismiss academic degrees, residential writing courses and writing guides outright is to deny budding writers from all social backgrounds a chance to have a go. Nevertheless, the best a teacher can do is inspire and encourage, or add finesse to any existing talent. Because the real work takes place alone in rooms, day after day, month after month, driven largely by delusional desire – a point DBC Pierre notes here. No one is born a writer: rather, you are shaped by experience, stimulus, ambition. You can’t teach hunger.

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