One of the really interesting things about hearing writers talks is how the same themes appear and reappear, seemingly by coincidence - but I guess it simply reflects the way that writers all face the same sorts of challenges, no matter what genre they are writing in, or how famous they are.
This morning I've been to hear Kate Grenville, Selina Hastings and Kim Scott talk on "Fictional life stories and Biography" at the Wellington Writers and Readers Week. The very last question from the audience we was to do with whether it should be called "Writers and Readers Week" or "Readers and Writers Week". In other words - "would you still write without anyone reading?"
Kate Grenville immediately claimed to have the smallest rejection slip in existence - a tiny card from a magazine she submitted work to when she was 16 - amongst her "fabulous collection" of rejection slips. But, she said, 'each time I got one, it encouraged me" (and this is what reminded me of Marilyn Duckworth's talk last week). "It's reassuring me," she said, "that I'm in the process of writing - thinking my way into a problem. And I decided that it's not that I want to be a writer. It's that I want to write."
P.S. Writers and readers? Readers and writers? Actually, I can never remember which way round it is. Which should it be??