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‘The blank page can be unnerving to a novelist preparing for the day’s long trek, but it’s a wasteland that poets have comfortably colonised. ‘
‘There’s a wayward part of me that resists plotting and wants to just plunge in. But if I yield to that temptation I risk the book being stillborn.’
‘I came to understand that bad words were only the beginning of the writing process. Brilliance lay not in writing perfectly first time round but in having the patience and skill to rework. ‘