Hello, I?m Martin and I?m wearing shoes. This shouldn?t be so. I spent many years working at the wrong thing ? until I found my calling as a writer. And then when I did I tore into the fight with swinging arms and eyes wide upon on the world?s most wobbly, terrified legs. And the fight for me was a fight against anything I thought was wrong. I railed against injustice, I wrote for democracy, I scribbled for equality, I typed for the environment. I quickly developed a reputation, too. I was a walking controversy and, given that I?ve always ? literally ? preferred walking barefoot,, it wasn?t long before the locals started calling me Knysna?s Barefoot Writer. I was proud of that and, oh, it was heady. I wrote columns and columns of anger and vitriol (and some humour) for the local papers. I blogged all over the internet in the days when blogging was just being born. I wrote short story after short story. And I started ? and finished! ? first drafts of two different novels. (Rather workable novels, I thought. Still think.) But living costs a fortune these days. You have to eat, you have to pay your rent, you have to settle the school fees ? which is why I didn?t even notice it at first. A commission here, a paying job there ? everything written to the party tune ? and my work began inevitably to cover itself in a dull, dry, dusty grey veil, and before I know it I was barefoot no more. If I?m going ever to write again, I?m going to have to lose my shoes.