In this final chapter I want to think about the ‘great difficulties in being an author’ by exploring the different ways new writers ‘speculate’ upon their writing. There are many different meanings within the word ‘speculate’ and the Oxford English Dictionary gives several. From the sixteenth century onwards ‘to speculate’ has meant ‘to consider or reflect upon with close attention; to contemplate; to theorise upon’. Then there are more contemporary meanings: ‘to undertake … a business enterprise or transaction of a risky nature in the expectation of considerable gain’. These different meanings of ‘speculate’ are both relevant for writers; for we are often required to reflect upon our own work, and if we want to publish, we are forced to gamble on the market.
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