More people from the UK aspire to being a writer than any other job, according to a new poll – about 10% of respondents. Sports personality, pilot, astronaut, and event organiser all came close behind.
But why? Do they already write and love it, and dream of being able to do it full time? Is it the attraction of ‘being your own boss’? Is it the joy of creativity coupled with the democratic nature of writing i.e. all you need is a pen and notepad? Or does it seem like an easy option for people who have never got beyond thinking about writing?
After all, writing can be a isolating experience and the difficulties of landing a publishing contract, let alone actually selling many books once you have one, are overwhelming.
The reality of the writing life is usually very different from the fantasy, as John Crace points out, even if it’s more than a little cynical to have that point made by someone who gets paid to write (and I expect he is very well paid!).