Bonnie Burnard


I am guilty of allowing myself to become distracted by issues about which I can do very little. The foremost of these issues is practical: the inability to make much money as a Canadian short story writer. Tied directly to this is the extraordinary amount of quiet time I need in order to write anything which holds my interest. By quiet time, I mean the kind of time where, for days and nights running, the world of the imagination takes hold. I would not want (would be afraid of) a life filled with this kind of time, but I do need substantial chunks of it to get to the place where I can make a piece of fiction. All of this is further complicated by a middle class determination to raise my children well (to accommodate their potential, creative and other) and to live in something other than squalor. In short, I want it all. I want enough money to service my middle class family needs and to free my imagination to write, but I need a full time job to get it; a full time job precludes writing. If I were young and beautiful I would marry for money. If I could water down my own puritanical literary code, I would write potboilers full of greed, lust and violence to subsidize the work I care about. The romantic concept of artistic struggle is pretty much lost on me.



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