Anne Enright on what she learned (and didn’t) at her creative writing course:
The book went in the bin (a few box files sitting on my bottom shelf) and I went home and started to write for real. I learned all the hard things at UEA – difficulty, incapacity, failure, humility, the importance of working more on the page than in your head. Now when I hear of people taking a year off to write, I worry that a year might not be enough. You must fail as a writer for much longer than that, I think, before you know what failure is and what use you might make of it. I didn’t realise, when that first book fell apart, that every book falls apart. That this is the gig. You sit there and watch your word-count drop, and you hold your nerve.