Tag Archives: on writing

Being a writer is…

I was going to write a blog about writing – but then it turned into a poem.


Being a writer is:

About being able to take rejection…

About being able to do something else to pay the bills…

Accepting that you are unlikely ever to pay the bills from your writing,

but carrying on with it anyway…


About being able to take criticism calmly and respond

with a crocodile’s smile when they take you apart…

Being able to realise that people often take the easiest way out of,

or into, your piece…

Which is often personal, or seems downright mean…


Being able to believe in yourself when others don’t…

Realising that you are not your characters – even

though everyone thinks you are.

It’s fictional. (Usually…)


Keeping going even when you don’t win that competition or

your mss is returned unread…

It’s brilliant, it’s true, they just don’t get it.


It’s not stopping for lunch

Because you are not at home, but in your head.


Being a writer is:

Thinking, I wish I’d written that,

When reading something glorious,

Looking for ways to make yours better after

Reading something glorious…


Being able to write through the tears…

Being able to write despite the tears…

Writing something good because of the tears.


Writing is:



Doing displacement activities.



Rewriting more…


Writing notes on any handy bit of paper,

The icy dread when you lose those notes,

The rush of exhilaration and relief when you find those notes.


Writing is:

A drive / a compulsion / being human.

Nothing else is real.

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She Writes – another wonderful night of short plays by women

Pic of Cast and director
The cast and director

I programmed and hosted the second of the 17Percent ‘She Writes’ nights on 7 December.

The range of plays showcased was very wide – even though it fitted to the theme of a meal. Cannabalistic aliens, angsty ad execs, a couple of murderesses – one more psychotic than the other, the story of Adam’s first wife in the Garden of Eden, and a grown-up (and gone to seed) Mary and Joseph were amongst the treats on display.
What I enjoy most about these nights is seeing how the plays change from page to performance. Sometimes a play has something that you can’t define when you’re reading it, but you know that there is something there and it becomes magic once it’s read out loud. Sometimes a play that reads well and you think is great doesn’t work as well on stage. Getting to see (and acknowledge) which your play is, is an important part of the development process for a writer, and as someone who programmes the event, is also important, though I think we’ve managed to achieve a high proportion of plays that really work in the She Writes nights so far.
Thanks to the cast and director who interpreted the plays, and thanks to all the writers who have submitted work. The next She Writes night is on 21 March 2012. It has an international theme as it is during International Women’s Month.
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