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How is it done?

Posted by Tania Kindersley
Tania Kindersley
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on Wednesday, 13 June 2012

There was no blog last week because I was running up to deadline for my book and all ability to do any other thing was temporarily lost. So now I emerge, blinking into the light, like a faintly deranged woodland creature. (Not one of the adorable fawn-like ones, but one of the lowly, scuttly, muddy ones.)

Sometimes people ask me about writing, as if I should know. I damn well should know. I’ve only been doing it for twenty years. And here is the strange thing: I know exactly how to do it, and I don’t know how to do it at all.

I sometimes say that, after all this time, I can just about carry a tune. What I mean by this is that I have a certain confidence in sentences. I can string them together. I enjoy stringing them together. Occasionally, one of them might contain a little bit of drollery. (It really annoys me that I can’t do that wild, properly funny writing that people like our own Esther Walker can; and I’m not just saying that to suck up to The Lady. In life, I can make people laugh a bit, but on paper there is some reticence, I have no idea what it is, which mitigates against laughing out loud. So I have to settle for the occasional mild drollness.) Sometimes, one of my sentences might even make a point.

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