As a writer, I suffer from a disability that I suspect isn’t unique. I am never pleased with anything I write. There must be, my critical self nags, a better idea to write about or a better way to write what I just wrote.
Perhaps it is this disability that has forced me to work as a journalist, rather than, say, a novelist. For example, both the aforementioned problems go away when I’m on an assignment.
The first disappears because once my idea has been accepted by an editor, I know that’s what I have to write about. The second vanishes because the acceptance comes with a deadline, which I’m forced to honour so it keeps my easy-to-distract mind on a leash.
This it turns out isn’t a bad way of learning to be a writer. As it happens, Neil Gaiman, a best-selling English author of fiction and comics, found…
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