Okay – this my first ever blog. Why should I suddenly start writing a blog I hear you muttering? Maybe I just want to get something off my chest, or maybe I just might have something to say that someone out there might be interested in or is it simply I’ve got to an age where I didn’t give a flying fuck.
I’m primarily a writer, but I’m also a TV and theatre director and producer. You’ll be pleased to know, I’m not going to list all my credits here, but suffice it to say I got my first commission from the BBC in the late 70s, a thriller called Dog In the Dark (more of that later) I then went onto write a number of successful radio plays for BBC Radio 4, then I was one of the original writers on EastEnders, I worked on the show for 12 years, literally writing hundreds of episodes, as well as being at times the story consultant and also directing a number of episodes. And this is just the tip of the workberg. I’ve worked on numerous other TV dramas (again more about that later) as well as co-creating Holby City, directing and writing stage plays and musicals.
I’ve had a varied and successful career, but I felt there was something missing – a novel. I had this ridiculous notion that my life wouldn’t be complete unless I wrote a novel, a feeling I’d had for years. I’d tried in the past to find time to write a book, but it wasn’t until a few years ago I actually made myself sit down and write prose. The result – BECK LE STREET. I’m now working on my third novel. But I just mention all that to put this blog into some kind of context.
Years ago, when I first started writing for the screen, I read a book called Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman, a brilliant eclectic writer. It taught me all sorts about the world I was at that point on the brink of plunging into head first … but the most important thing it taught me was that shit happens to every writer. Whether you’re a famous Hollywood writer who has gold plated credits to Joe Soap who is trying to get a foot on the ladder – whoever you are, if you’re a writer – shit happens. You are not alone. We are all in the same crappy boat. We are in a creative business that’s run by non-creative people and what makes it even worse, a lot of them think they are creative. Figure that.
So with this blog what I wanted to do was share what is happening to me in the present and how the present is coloured by the past. It’s about how I write and I write virtually every day, as anyone who’s ever heard one of my ‘talks’ my mantra is ‘writers write.’ That’s what we do. It’s going to be anecdotal as well as revealing some insight into how I personally attack the writing process and what it means emotionally, mentally and physically, not only to me, but the people I share my life with. When I put it like that it does sound like a huge cathartic exercise, which it probably is.