Happy Birthday, Lynn Coady, born 24 January 1970
- Most people don’t live and think the way I do. They don’t live inside their heads in the same way, they’re not as focused on characters, or enthralled by stories or human conflicts in the same way writers are. They’re basically not as dreamy.
- The weirdness mainly rears its head on social occasions. A party, say, where people are chatting about their jobs, their busy family lives, and it strikes you that the only thing you have (or want) to talk about are the imaginary beings who’ve been living in your head the past few months. Or past year. Or past couple of years. However long, it’s definitely the presence of other people that brings out the weirdness—that collision of your own way of being with the everyday lives of others, the abrupt awareness—always a surprise no matter how often it’s happened—that their lives are very different from your own. Then comes the alienation; the essential loneliness bound up in this awareness.
- I’ll type. And that will be enough. Then there are the other days, when nothing is enough. The poem grins. It grins because it knows it is a terrible poem. It grins in embarrassment. It grins in pity. It grins in superiority. I may be a terrible poem, it grins, but at least I have one comfort. At least I’m not a terrible poet. At least I’m not the guy who sat in front of a typewriter for two hours coming up with the likes of me.
- But when you first start out, I think you do have to be ruthless, because it’s hard to write and it’s hard to get good at writing. Do what you’ve got to do, I think. And you’re fed by the world around you.
- Ultimately, you don’t write for money, but you need money to write. So it gets infuriating when people try to impose that idea on you as a writer.
Lynn Coady is an award-winning Canadian novelist and journalist. Her novels include The Antagonist, Hellgoing, and Mean Boy.
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