For our ‘On Writing’ series, we asked Louise Swinn to reflect on writing. Her short story ‘A Clean Kind of Dirt’ appears in Issue 4 of Kill Your Darlings.
Who cares why I write? I’m the most average person in the world. I have a liberal arts degree. My hair is brown; I’m of medium build. I was vegetarian for a time. Snakes and spiders scare me. I get tired. I vote the way you’d expect someone like me to vote. I’m forgettable – people mix me up with other people. I have nothing interesting to tell the world.
That’s what I have to fight when I open a new document and start to write. As a publisher I remember how I feel as a writer every time I open a submission. My life is sometimes just spent having my dreams crushed and crushing other people’s dreams. Cue violins, right? Like I said: who cares? That’s my battle but I know you have yours, and I’m assuming you’ve had a bad day, possibly in a bad month, quite possibly in a bad year, in the worst decade of your life. That’s what I figure could be the situation when you’re sending me your work, and sometimes that’s a recipe for the best writing in the world. I think, anyway, but don’t take my word for it. What do I know?
Louise Swinn is a writer and the editorial director of Sleepers: sleeperspublishing.com.