In this episode, author Tim Clare (that’s me) talks about what’s been going on in fiction writing this week. I discuss the dangers of writers’ semi-jokey fixation on productivity and ‘laziness’, and why I think it makes us sad while creating the very problem it claims to tackle. Then I dive into a topic I’ve been avoiding for a while – who has the right to tell what stories? After reading an interview with author Lionel Shriver this week, where she said that she fears the novel is doomed unless authors are allowed to cause offence, and that white authors are filled with anxiety about writing about cultures that aren’t their own, I decided to have a go at broaching this subject. If you would like to hear a white middle class cis male author give his opinions, then finally you have the chance, if you can hear me over all the hand-wringing.

This is a good episode to listen to if you’re wondering: what stories am I allowed to write? What questions should I be asking myself about diversity, cultural appropriation, and representation? How can I write more?

It’s very much the beginning of a conversation and there’s a lot more to say. In the meantime, I suggest you read up on the topic, by reading a range of pieces by authors from marginalised groups, to get their opinions.

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