Friday, October 03, 2014
Friday has arrived and so the beginning of some once weekly thoughts on the business, craft and experience of being a playwright.
Writing has been often described as being difficult. I sometimes find it so and, when, as Robertson Davies says, “the black dog is on my shoulder” for some reason I feel I must be the only one, that other writers must sit at their desks and have brilliant dialogue or prose flow from their fingers into neatly into onscreen lines. So it was with some pleasure and relief that I read the experience of one of my favourtie author’s, E. M. Forester, as he was writing his most famous novel A Passage to India which took him ten years. As he finished he told Virginia Woolf, “This is a failure”.
He says: “I am so weary, not of working but of not working: of thinking the book bad and so not working, and of not working and so thinking it is bad; that vicious circle.”
Ever been there?
What about: “I have actually written a little. It is a curious experience. Sometimes I am
pleased, at others so bored I could spit on the paper instead of inking it.”
I am enormously pleased by these recollections. What I have learnt is that the creative spark in me is unaffected by my mood. Whether it’s depression or elation, if I have a deadline, the pages will get filled. The doing is all.