To generalise wildly, the career path of most young (successful) writers goes something like this. Go to university – preferably Oxford or Cambridge – and read English. While there, start writing novel and get a few pieces published in the university magazine. Move to London after graduation, start a creative writing postgraduate degree and pick up some work reviewing books for the literary supplements while tidying up the fourth draft of your novel. You then get your novel published, which gets a few kind reviews thanks to the contacts you've made and sells precisely 317 copies. ... But someone, somewhere offers you a contract to write a second novel and your career is up and running. From then on you have a meta life. You write because you write, not because you necessarily have anything interesting to say. You probably actually write quite well, but you are trading on style, not substance, because you've never actually done anything much beyond writing.John Crace on The Guardian blog argues, quite rightly (and with reference to J.G. Ballard who had served his time in the real world) that too many literary writers are seriously lacking in life experience. And yes, it shows.
So wannabes, go out and live a bit!