Bare & Share – The Final Hand-In
There is something inspiring about watching a new group of writers develop during a course. Watching them from the very beginning with aspiring ideas and eventually creating those ideas into a final draft of a script is just a wonderful thing to be witness to. I have just had the absolute pleasure of supporting and leading some of the sessions for Hull Truck Theatres, Young Writers group 18- 30 and I have loved each and every session.
This group were essentially led by Tom Saunders, the Associate Director here at the theatre and the man that really knows his plays with a passion. I supported alongside him and took the lead in some sessions where I was able to share my experiences of being a writer with the group.
It’s a funny thing as a writer to lead other writers into the field that you also desire to make a living from and encouraging them to do the same. Many friends have asked me, bluntly, ‘If you are not making a living just solely as a writer just yet, why would you encourage others to try and do so?’ I think what they are asking is, why would you try and do yourself out of a job. But it’s not actually like that. Though, I do think it is important to be honest here. As a writer, it is a competitive world out there, the industry is hard to crack and us writers often need to do other work to maintain a regular income. So yes, it’s a valid question. But the truth is, if I am chosen to write something, or a new writer I have helped or mentored is chosen, it wouldn’t change anything for me.
Well perhaps apart from being able to afford a nice holiday maybe?
But it wouldn’t change my relationships with writing simply because I will always write, I am a writer. I will do it if I have a commission or not because it is what I love. It is my creative outlet as well as being something that sometimes helps me pay the bills and put the heating on a little this winter. Well, an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, let’s not go overboard!
I always remember French and Saunders answering a question about advice for young females wanting to follow in their footsteps and their reply was, ‘Don’t dare, get lost. The BBC isn’t big enough for the both of us’ which is comical yet there is some truth in it for them because the telly world is completely different. Especially in their origin times of only four channels! But in the world of playwrighting, I don’t feel it is like that. There are many more theatres, stages, community halls and back rooms of pubs that require entertainment then there are channels. You only have to take a look at the advice other local playwrights have shared with us over the weeks on this blog to see it’s a much more friendly and supportive community then that of TV or screen. I can say hand on heart that if a writer I have supported obtained writing work, I’d be extremely pleased and happy for them.
What you need to learn quickly in writing as a profession is that the right writer needs to be selected for the job and will be required to do so in their voice. If you are not the right fit, then it’s as simple as that. Also, as somebody that has taught for a large majority of their working career. It’s a pleasure to see creatives that were once under your guidance doing well for themselves. It still doesn’t mean I wish I could afford more holidays a year! Who doesn’t love a holiday?
This week saw our writers group hand in their final drafts of their 10-page plays and we had an awesome, fun, and vulnerable session of sharing them with each other. It’s a hard thing to share work you know if you haven’t’ done it before, even if you have. Many times, maybe, it’s still always a little nerve wracking. To put your creative imagination onto some blank pieces of paper and then share it with a room full of people. It takes a level of courage I can assure you. What’s always so lovely about these final sharing sessions is it gives you a real insight to the types of writers we have. Each of them had unique and individual voices. Interesting and compelling characters and a real bravery to lay themselves bare and share.
We look forward to the new year where we will have a sharing day of the writer’s new works and provide them with the opportunity to hear their words spoken into a theatrical space by professional actors. As a writer this is one of the most beneficial and insightful experiences you can have. It’s also exciting and fun to hear your imagination come to life. So, we can’t wait to help make that happen for our talented, inspiring, and just proper lovely bunch of writers 2022.
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