1. Yes, it’s wonderful that writers finally have alternatives to signing up with big corporate publishers.
2. However, it’s still an indulgent embarrassment when writers self-publish poor quality work without the input of a talented and honest editor.
3. The reviewing culture in Australia gives me a toothache, so I try not to sugar coat the reviews I write – with varying success.
4. A poet who enjoys performing as much or more than he or she enjoys writing is a performer, not a poet, and there is nothing wrong with admitting that.
5. Point 4 doesn’t matter, because nobody really cares about poetry, anyway.
6. None of the above points really matter, because no matter how hard a writer works, unless they are very gifted at selling themselves, or just very lucky, they will have no career.
7. Salesmen seldom make talented writers.
8. Every now and again, someone writes an article about what they really think of new Australian poetry and everyone ums and ahs and some people get het up about it, and then everything goes back to the way it was.
9. Point 8 is evidence to support point 5.
10. Everything I read for my own enjoyment was written at least thirty years ago.
11. I have one or two students each semester whose writing is much, much better than almost everything I’ve ever reviewed.
12. If you write constantly for ten years, and successfully complete a PhD in writing, somebody should be obliged to publish your book.
13. Instead of point 10, the reality is that if you do those things, everyone thinks you must be a tired idiot.
14. They’re probably right.
15. When I read Tweets and status updates about how much someone resents working on their novel or thesis, I have to resist the urge to state the obvious: then quit and find something you like doing.
16. If I had a single other skill or passion, I would not opt to be a writer.
17. I wish that, at least, I was better at writing.
18. I like teaching, but it exhausts me.
19. If neither high schools nor universities in Australia teach English composition, it’s a miracle anybody can construct a legible sentence – so, I should probably stop complaining.
20. Your quality as a teacher should count for more in the academic job market than the quantity of your publications.
21. Nobody reads those publications, but your teaching impacts hundreds of people each semester.
22. Fiscally speaking, bad teachers lose enrolments whereas good teachers retain enrolments and enrolments are money.
23. Up to about fifty years ago, groups of writers and poets who had similar ideas about what constitutes good writing got together and labelled themselves.
24. Now, groups of writers and poets who have similar ideas about what constitutes good writing don’t know each other and are labelled by everyone else.
25. Up to about fifty years ago, performance poetry was equally as pleasurable to read on the page.
26. Spoken word is not a genre of poetry, it is simply spoken word.
27. I force myself to go to literary events once or twice a year, usually to support a friend, but I’d much rather be at home working on my novel, or socializing with people who actually know and like me.
28. All aspiring writers should read ‘So you want to be a writer’ by Charles Bukowski.
29. After that, if they still qualify, they should read ‘Politics and the English Language’ by George Orwell and pretend it was written today.
30. Nobody cares about the bitter generalized opinions of another tired idiot.