I first saw this quote by Mark Haddon when author D.G Kaye shared Mary Jaksch’s blog containing 50 authors’ tips on becoming a good writer: http://writetodone.com/become-a-good-writer/
“I don’t remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.”
Mark Haddon is an English novelist, best known for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003). He won the Whitbread Award, Guardian Prize, and a Commonwealth Writers Prize for his work.
I had to laugh at this quote, as I’ve not yet ‘come out’ to my family and friends. I’ve been writing for 4 years now, and still none of my relatives and extended family have even an inkling of what I do all day. According to them I’m retired and look after my grandchildren when I’m needed, and also care for my 92 year old mother on a daily basis. Although I’m not gay, my writing is a little secret that I share only with Sam, my husband.
Sam agreed in 2013 that the plot of my debut novel ‘The Porn Detective’ could be loosely based on a few issues we had overcome in our own marriage some years before, but just as long as I wrote under a pseudonym. I thought this was a good idea as I had already written a couple of non-fiction books under my real name, and I wanted my non-fiction and fiction works to be totally separate. After some deliberation I decided on the name of Stevie Turner.
Will I ‘come out’? Hmm…I don’t know. At the moment I’m slowly re-writing The Porn Detective (which was unpublished last year) to make it the best that it can be. I’m taking my time and have learned not to rush things. I will eventually send it back to the London agency who originally deliberated on whether to represent me in 2013. If they still say no, then I may scrap the whole project and ditch Stevie. Who knows? Trouble is… all my novels are known under Stevie’s name, and so it’s all a bit of a palaver. We shall have to wait and see.