May 27, 2012
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!
From Ireland, Sue Healy is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre, London, a full-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. Her book on theatre literary management is published by Routledge, December 2022.
Sue is an award-winning writer for stage, TV, and prose writer.
Her current project, a 6x60minute TV series, is under option. She is under commission with Lone Wolf Media, producers behind PBS’ “Mercy Street”, to co-write the pilot and treatment for a six-part TV series.
Her most recent stage-play, Imaginationship (2018), enjoyed a sold out, extended run at the Finborough and later showed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Her previous stage productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s short plays have been performed at the Criterion (Criterion New Writing Showcase), Arcola (The Miniaturists) and Hackney Attic (Fizzy Sherbet Shorts).
Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm.
Sue has won The Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award, Meridian Prize and has been published in nine literary journals and anthologies including: The Moth, Flight, Tainted Innocence, New Writer, Duality, HISSAC, New European Writers. She has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from annual artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy.
An academic with a PhD in modern theatre history, specifically the Royal Court Theatre, Sue has presented her research internationally. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She has a PhD in modern theatre history (Royal Court Theatre) and is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumnus.
View all posts by suehealy
May 27th, 2012 at 22:52
Look at me… Everyone thinks because my memoir’s been published, I’m a writer. When in fact, I’m just a person with a story. This puts a lot of pressure on me and I now worry people will be scrutinizing my blog posts, which are full of mistakes because I’m really not a writer.
Do you understand?
May 28th, 2012 at 09:22
It is wonderful to hear good news like that. Let’s celebrate – Hurrah!
May 28th, 2012 at 23:23
You have been nominated for the Tell Me About Yourself blog award!
May 29th, 2012 at 06:16
Cheers for the mention, Sue! It’s definitely about working at it. I learned a lot from writing this book, and I’m still learning and developing as I work on the second. It never stops. I hope you’re grand, and that we get to meet up soon. It’s been too long.
May 31st, 2012 at 01:49
June 1st, 2012 at 20:55
Always a pleasure to read what you post. Congrats to your friend Michael. It’s very exciting to get published.
July 22nd, 2012 at 02:52
Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!