Monday, February 28, 2011


Inspiration can come from anywhere; a dream, a photograph, a walk down the street you've walked a thousand times before. It's the transformation of that inspiration into an actual story that takes time and dedication.

One of the myths I've encountered over the years is the attitude that a career in any creative field is fun, easy and really more play instead of work. In my experience, this certainly wasn't true when I was working in the theatre and it certainly isn't true for writing. Of course, there are good times, but there are also times of pure nose-to-the-grindstone work. And writers usually write alone. There is no one at the next desk to share a laugh or a joke with, there is only (in my experience) your self-editor, who makes the dictator of your choice a soft cuddly puppy in comparison, hissing that what you're writing is bad, bad, bad.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's all awful. Every writer has experienced that warm glow that rushes through them when they're pleased with what's on the page. There is nothing like the relief of meeting a deadline with time to spare, or that floating-above-the ground sensation when you open that envelope which contains your first royalty cheque.

But yes, it's work. Researching takes time. Pulling yourself through that first draft takes perseverance. Not deleting it when you read it through for the first time takes self-control. Rewriting takes patience. Listening to criticism takes humility.

Over the past few years, I've seen posters with my name on them, crediting me as the playwright, and I've had many kind people write to me telling me they've enjoyed playing my murder mystery games, but...holding your first book must feel like holding an Oscar.

I really, really want that feeling.

Time for work.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more. The one thing that keeps me going is knowing that one day, in the distant future, I may well see my own work in the book store. I've not been doing this that long and I certainly can't afford to write full time. Coming home after a crummy day at the office and working for 2 or 3 more hours isn't easy but I find if I keep in mind what I am working towards it makes it easier to get motivated.

    Good Luck getting that 'Oscar'

  2. Debbie; And best of luck to you! Thanks for the follow; I hope you enjoy my blog.

  3. Elspeth - You're so write ;-). Writing is hard work. So is acting well, directing well, and a lot of other endeavours, too. I think any time one puts oneself "out there" as one does in writing or acting, it's hard. At least it is for me. I truly applaud you for not taking the easy way out and for doing what will bring up fulfillment.

  4. I really, really want that feeling, too. Now it's time to go back and edit some more. One day.

  5. Margot; I find writing far more difficult than I found acting or directing. I *am* trying, though!

    Carol; Oh, the editing!

  6. If it was easy, everyone could do it. Hang in there. It IS work, and it's supposed to be work.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  7. Definitely more work than play. I think it would be fantastic to see your name on a poster or game, too. I know I'll see yours in a store one day. :)


Please leave a comment as I love to hear from you!