Not so long ago, I was on the usual type of panel discussion at a literary festival, far from home and the people whose hands I prefer to be holding. The format was the fairly standard: four authors and a chairperson chat about something vaguely to do with the event title. Over the years, I have slid from being one of the token new writers to being one of the token scraggly old ones. The young novelist sitting beside me began a description of how he had efficiently and effectively planned his first book to be commercially successful, adaptable for movie purposes and generally a money-making machine. The plan worked. He made money. (I quietly began to dislike him.) And then he talked about writing his second novel and the way he’d written that one for his friends. He’d cared about it. At which point he cried. Right out on stage, he wept big authorial tears of sheer bloody happiness. He had accidentally done something which had made him deeply happy – he had written for love. The only thing better than sitting next to that level of joy is having it yourself. Every day. Onwards.