I just learned that my Worm’s eye column has been shot with immediate effect. It’s a great shame. That was one of the two or three most enjoyable jobs I’ve had in journalism — another was the long Saturday Review profiles which went when the Guardian did its redesign last autumn.
Losing the money hurts, though I am still on a contract that keeps me solvent, and leaves time to make it up on other projects. But what really stings is the knowledge that I’m good at the writing part of the job. I’m thoughtful, quick, and well-informed about quite a lot of things. In many ways I am a better writer than when I was young and brilliant. But I am not good at marketing myself and not good at getting the stimulation I need to be interesting. All my best work has been done when I believed there was an editor taking an interest in what I was doing. Also, I am fifty one. Perhaps I should just cash in my savings, fly to Arizona, and eat myself to death. Another, possibly better, plan would be to get on with the Swedish book.