Irvine Welsh

Literary Birthday – 27 September – Irvine Welsh

Happy Birthday, Irvine Welsh, born 27 September 1958.

Irvine Welsh: On Writing

  1. I’m the same kind of writer as I am a drinker. I’m a binger.  I wear the same clothes for days and don’t shave.
  2. I grew up in a place where everybody was a storyteller, but nobody wrote. It was that kind of Celtic, storytelling tradition: everybody would have a story at the pub or at parties, even at the clubs and raves.
  3. I think young writers should get other degrees first, social sciences, arts degrees or even business degrees. What you learn is research skills, a necessity because a lot of writing is about trying to find information.
  4. I didn’t have any concept of Trainspotting being published. It was a selfish act. I did it for myself.
  5. I enjoy the freedom of the blank page.
  6. The first job of a writer is to be honest.
  7. There is a kind of mysticism to writing.
  8. When I first started to get into writing, it was via music. I’d generate ideas for songs that would turn into stories, then they’d turn into novels.
  9. When I’m not writing, I read loads of fiction, but I’ve been writing quite constantly lately so I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction – philosophy, religion, science, history, social, or cultural studies.
  10. When people start writing there is this idea that you have to get everything right first time, every sentence has to be perfect, every paragraph has to be perfect, every chapter has to be perfect, but what you’re doing is not any kind of public show, until you’re ready for it.

Irvine Welsh is a contemporary Scottish novelist, best known for his novel Trainspotting His other novels include Porno and The Blade Artist. His work is characterised by raw Scottish dialect, and a brutal depiction of the realities of Edinburgh life.


ed g2s • talk, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 27th September 2012

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