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Irvine Welsh's Quotes

Irvine Welsh profile photo

Born: 1961-09-27
Profession: Novelist
Nation: Scottish
Biography of Irvine Welsh

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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.

Tags: Perfect, Time, Writing

It was around the summer of 1982 when the drug problem really impacted. It became a lifestyle rather than a recreation. When you start lying and stealing, you cannot con yourself you're in control any more.

Tags: Cannot, Control, Yourself

There is a kind of mysticism to writing.

Tags: Mysticism, Writing

What worries me is the professionalism of everything.

Tags: Worries

Writing is about culture and should be about everything. That's what makes it what it is.

Tags: Culture, Makes, Writing

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.

Tags: Everybody, Place, Story

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.

Tags: Business, Graduation, Writing

I didn't have any concept of Trainspotting being published. It was a selfish act. I did it for myself.

Tags: Act, Concept, Selfish

I enjoy the freedom of the blank page.

Tags: Blank, Enjoy, Freedom

I feel like I've exhausted guys and male friendships.

Tags: Exhausted, Guys, Male

I tend to read more nonfiction, really, because when I'm writing I don't like to read other fiction.

Tags: Fiction, Read, Writing

The first job of a writer is to be honest.

Tags: Honest, Job, Writer

Basically, particularly in Britain, it's a hegemonic thing that people who write tend to come from the leisure classes. They can afford the time and the books.

Tags: Books, Time, Write

Every kind of book I've written has been written in a different way. There has not been any set time for writing, any set way, I haven't re-invented the process every time but I almost have.

Tags: Book, Time, Writing

I spend so much time on the screen when I am writing, the last thing you want to do is spend more time on the Internet looking at a screen. That's what I hate about all this technology.

Tags: Hate, Technology, Time

I wanted to capture the excitement of house music, almost like a four-four beat, and the best way to do that was to use a language that was rhythmic and performative.

Tags: Best, Music, Wanted

I'd always liked to read, but when I picked up books I wasn't getting the same kind of excitement from them that I was from going out clubbing. I wanted to get the same kind of feel.

Tags: Getting, Read, Wanted

I'm always watching people over a short time frame, putting them in an extreme position. Sometimes you don't see the humanity in a person because the time frame is so short and the circumstance so extreme.

Tags: Humanity, Short, Time

I'm working on a screenplay right now for the BBC, but I hope to have the decks cleared soon so I can get into the studio with my pals and put down some more tracks, try to get a strong dance single together.

Tags: Hope, Single, Strong

It's different in Scotland. People who come to readings are more interested in literature as such, but the readership in general is really quite diverse. It's a cliche, but it's said that people who read my books don't read any other books, and you do get that element.

Tags: Books, Read, Said

Sometimes there's a snobbery among literary types that these people don't really get it, but in a lot of ways they get it more than the literati. There's a culture in the background that they understand and know. They get that deeper level.

Tags: Culture, Sometimes, Understand

The establishment, the newspapers, they try to create something called Scottish literature, but when people are actually going to write, they are not going to necessarily prescribe to that, they'll write what they feel.

Tags: Actually, Try, Write

There's all this stuff that is happening in Edinburgh now, it's a sad attempt to create an Edinburgh society, similar to a London society, a highbrow literature celebrity society.

Tags: Sad, Society, Stuff

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. I was biased toward music.

Tags: Music, Started, Writing

When I started off with Trainspotting, it was the way the characters came to me. That's how they sounded to me. It seemed pretentious to sound any other way. I wasn't making any kind of political statement.

Tags: Making, Off, Political

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 nonfiction - philosophy, religion, science, history, social or cultural studies.

Tags: History, Religion, Science
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