Augusten Burroughs began writing at his mother’s urging

Gaby Wood interviews Augusten Burroughs as his second memoir, Dry, appears in Britain. Despite a horrific childhood and neglectful parents, Burroughs says his mother did teach him the importance of writing:

She encouraged him to write, saying that as long as he wrote, he would always understand what was going on in his head. She paved a screwy way for him, but at least she recommended some tools for survival. From the age of nine, he dictated a diary into a tape recorder and, from the age of 12, he wrote everything down. He says it’s important to write, automatically, with out thinking, for at least 10 minutes a day and that he now writes ‘obsessively, all the time’. The laconic author bio on the cover of Dry reads: ‘Augusten Burroughs is the bestselling author of Running With Scissors . He has no hobbies, interests or skills, other than writing about himself. He lives in New York.’

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