Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Be Bold

Back from my Writing for Performance course at Ty Newydd with the ever brilliant Kaite O’Reilly. I did intend to write blogs from Ty Newydd, but I was just too busy writing, learning, exploring process and meeting lots of lovely, interesting, supportive and inspirational writers.

Whilst there it felt as though things suddenly fell into place.

Ever since I listened to the Writers Guild podcast by Jack Thorne, amongst the many great things he said, the thing about working out your truth as a writer has been bugging me.

One of the speakers at the course was Mike Pearson who talked about his From Memory project - this made me think about my first novel now buried, with the copious research notes and rough drafts, in several boxes in my attic. A strange thought occurred to me, did I bury my truth as a writer with that novel?

The morning after I woke up thinking about my truth as a writer and the first thing I did was scribble a few things about the subjects that haunt my writing.

Now I’m fully aware that a lot of this is sounding, to phrase it as nicely as I can, a bit wanky! “Truth”, “burying” and “haunting”. A rash of metaphors waiting to be drawn out in a piece of writing. I do apologise.

Anyone would think I’d been on a writing for performance course in a house supposedly haunted by Lloyd George for a week.

But then that morning Kaite gave is a set of questions to think about;
What are your tendencies as a writer?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What needs to be addressed right now?
Is there some action you need to take?
What may be the way forward?

In the midst of these questions Kaite used the phrase “treading water”. She asked have we been “treading water” as a writer?

That was it for me, that was the truth. I’d been treading water for years, and occasionally sinking, only to make it back to the surface and tread water some more.

I’d been giving voice to characters, I’d been giving voice to stories, I’d been telling the truth of others but I’d lost my writers voice and lost track of my truth as a writer. I’ve been putting words on a page but I haven’t been putting me on the page.

It’s not just about getting specs out there it’s about getting my voice out there. It’s about making sure that my voice is loud and clear and shouts louder than all the voices.

I thought about the radio play I’ve just finished, the radio play I’m developing, the theatre play I’m developing and I can see the empty spaces in them but I know how fill those empty spaces.

Over breakfast one of the writers on the course said to me, be bold. And I will be from now on.