We love our debut novels here at Fiction Writers Review. As a site devoted to emerging writers, we love calling attention to the start of a literary career and the promise of a new voice. But here is some news of a very different sort: recently, veteran author Jim Crace made news by announcing that his next novel will be his last. The Independent reports:
“Writing careers are short,” [Crace] expands. “For every 100 writers, 99 never get published. Of those who do, only one in every hundred gets a career out of it, so I count myself as immensely privileged. I will have written 12 novels when I finish this next book and it’s enough. I’m going to stop. Too often bitterness is the end product of a writing career. I keep seeing writers who have grown bitter. And I know that I am just as likely to turn bitter as anyone else. So it’s self-preservation.”
Most writers would say that they are driven to write and know no other way to fill their time or make sense of the world. Crace is amused by their presumption. “My belief is that I will be quite happy not writing. JD Salinger once said, ‘You’ve got no idea the peace of writing and not publishing,’ but I am going to go one better and find the peace of not writing and not publishing. I’m looking forward to it.”
Here I think of Seinfeld calling it quits after 10 years, before the show lost its zing. What do you think, FWR readers? Could you see yourself deciding to quit writing at some point in the future?