Acquiring the Craft…

The word “writer” often carries weighty connotations. Some see a “writer” as a genius whose works astonish and awe the world. Others perceive a “writer” as “mad” and “misunderstood” artist who lives on the edge of life, burdened by their aforementioned genius and often turning to drink and drugs for both inspiration and solace.

The truth, at least concerning the vast majority of writers (and all creative artists), is more mundane. Writing is a craft, a skill anyone can acquire through practice. Although writers can be drug addicts and alcoholics just like members of any other profession – they can also be tee-total, health nuts or just very ordinary people living on your street who do regular things like shop at Tesco’s or Walmart and go to the pub/club on Friday night.

In other words, writers are normal people and as different from each other and varied as regular people are. The single trait they all have in common is that they write. By that, I mean they are disciplined and they write on a regular basis. They give time to their craft, acquiring it, polishing it, perfecting it.

I was thinking of this point this week when a friend of mine saw his debut novel published. Apocalypse Cow is a wirk by Glaswegian writer Michael Logan, who served his apprenticeship as a creative writer via a writing group in Budapest (my old home). His novel went on to win the Terry Pratchett prize last yeear. I mention Apocalypse Cow not only as a congratulatory plug for a well deserving author but because it is reassuring to know that a nice, down-to-earth, hard-working, good guy like Michael gets to see his work published by a mainstream publishing house. Very much looking forward to reading my copy (on order).

 

Well done, Michael, you’re an inspiration to all of us!

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About suehealy

Award-winning Irish writer/playwright Sue Healy’s work has been supported and developed by Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and Arts Council England. Her full-length stage plays include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s work has also been performed at the Hackney Attic and Sterts theatres and festivals including the Claremorris Fringe (New Writing Award winner), the Brighton (Sussex Playwrights’ Award winner) and the UEA Contemporary European Drama Festival, Norwich. Autumn 2017 will see her work showcased at the Finborough, Arcola and Criterion theatres in London. Radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has been a finalist for BBC Scriptroom 12, Eamon Keane Playwriting Prize, Nick Darke Award and the Old Vic 12 New Voices. Sue's prose has won the the Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award and has been published widely. Sue has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from juried artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy. Sue is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumna. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She is currently London-based, completing a Ph.D. on the Royal Court Theatre. Sue is an Associate Lecturer in Playwriting at the Universities of Lincoln and Portsmouth, and tutors Creative Writing at City Lit. She is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre. View all posts by suehealy

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