Writers are my heroes

As a youngster, all I ever wanted to be was a writer. I wanted to write stories about people and about life. And all I ever wanted to do was to go to university to study English Literature. I buried myself in books. My parents encouraged me, as did my teachers. Writers were my heroes then and they still are now.

I say this today because I am drinking coffee from my UEA mug and it has made me time-travel back to Norwich in the early 80s. Not to be immodest, but I got three A’s in my A levels. I didn’t want to go to one of the old-established universities. I went to UEA because it was radical, because Malcolm Bradbury taught there, because it majored in modern literature and because they served superb sandwiches on interview day. University changed my life and writers continue to do the same.

Anyway, my love of great writing and great writers has survived and now, approaching 60, I love thoughts and ideas, clearly and beautifully expressed, more than ever. Today, I take great pleasure in serving up this beautiful prayer from Thomas More (1477-1535).

Give us, Lord, a humble, peaceable, patient, tender and charitable mind…Give us, Lord, a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, a love of you. Take from all us all lukewarmness in meditation, dullness in prayer. Give us fervour and delight in thinking of you and your grace, your tender compassion towards us.

Please send me your favourite prayer.