Julian Barnes on Confidence and Calling Yourself a Writer

barnes

INTERVIEWER

So you chose novel writing as a profession.

BARNES

Oh, I didn’t choose it as a profession—I didn’t have the vanity to choose it. I can perhaps now state that I am at last a novelist, and think of myself as a novelist, and can afford to do journalism when it pleases me. But I was never one of those insufferable children who at the age of seven is writing stories under the bedclothes or one of those cocky young wordsmiths who imagine the world awaits their prose. I spent a long time acquiring enough confidence to imagine that I could be some sort of novelist.

Julian Barnes, on early career aspirations, in The Paris Review.

***

Photo: anniemole, Flickr

Friends: We Need Your Help to Fund More Stories

We want to dramatically increase our story fund this year, but we can't do it without your support. Every dollar you contribute goes to writers and publishers who spend hours, weeks, and months reporting and writing outstanding stories. Now is the time to join us.
Become a Member