I wrote this blog out on a piece of paper before I typed it up. Because I had time on a train. Because I think better with a pen and paper. But more than that. Because I’m less and less motivated to open my laptop and type as the starting point of a creative process.
I’ve known for a while that I’m an extrovert writer, which means I get my energy from others, which means lots of ‘just get on with it’ writing advice just doesn’t work for me,- because sitting in a room on my own for extended periods is beyond disastrous for me. And when I did a creative retreat at Invererne last year, I just found the time I spent doing movement and voice work felt more intensively creative than anything I ever do in the glare of my Mac screen.
So if this blog has been a bit quiet for the last year or so, it’s because I’ve been trying to find a different way to work. To see how it might feel to be a theatre maker as much as a playwright. The operative word there is trying, because honestly, I haven’t got it even a little bit sussed. It’s been slow-going. And I spent most of last year with a frustrating sense of doing nothing and going nowhere. Not writing, but not quite doing anything else either. False starts galore.
Where I’ve got to? Well, it’s complicated. I like writing. It’s easy to fit around the rest of my life, too. But I’m not willing to give up on trying other stuff.
A few things have really helped already this year. I found heaps of inspiration at Devoted and Disgruntled in Birmingham, where I talked to people precisely about that question of shifting from writer to maker. And yesterday, I went to a Lab Collective workshop, where I put my money where my mouth is and started to plot out a new show that would be nothing like I’ve ever done before. I even scratched a whole 90 seconds of it at the end of the day. (This is progress.) There will be more progress, I think. I can’t promise I’ll blog about it all. But if I have a pen and paper and some time on a train, I’ll do my best.