In our profession, this word’s the kiss of death: ‘promising’. So many young ‘promising’ writers gorging on the spew of their own private language, content with the ‘promise’ it contains. Glutting on yeast starter instead of making beer. I take a lot of shit for saying things like this, I suppose because it reminds people of a sorry but perennial truth: that writing is not necessarily any more dignified an activity than tossing yourself off on the lavatory.

Writing’s not the human part. Writing’s autism with a pen. Meaning something is the core, the living heart.

Simon Ings