All Cut Up

Hole cut in Liverpool building. Now you see it…

I’m going under the knife today. Nothing too serious, a day procedure, though it does involve a general anaesthetic. To be honest, the most stressful part is trying to figure a to-fro from the hospital, being alone and carless in this country as I am. And I’ve got a lot of work to do when (and however) I get back from the op – with a re-write due on a play, a funding application pending deadline and a rake of bills and repairs due on my Budapest flats as well as organising for a dinner party tomorrow (yes, I know it’s dumb timing but it’s the first time in my four years in Norwich that I’ll have my aunt and uncle in town for the night so don’t want to miss the opportunity of having family around).

Coincidentally, it was this same aunt who once told me that if you put a red circle round a date on a calendar it attracts other happenings like flies. And these stressful moments often make me think about the career I’ve chosen. And the sacrifices I’ve made for it (see alone and carless mentioned above).

I have made a lot of sacrifices, that of a family for instance, and the chance of financial security (considering I have no independent wealth or spousal support, nor do I stand to inherit anything at any stage in my life). So, yeah, at moments like this, especially when facing a surgeon’s knife, one does start to ask one’s self why one does what one does…

I do it for rather selfish reasons, rather than the altruism of contributing to society. I do it because writing gets me happy and, to some extent, keeps me sane. And my writing is the only thing that never lets me down. People will disappoint, I’ll let myself down sometimes, but my art is there and constant and always offers solace, comfort and a new trip with every project.  And not having family, my stories and plays are my kids, they’re me passing it on to you. Such reasoning will probably not make sense to most, but it will to fellow artists. We do it because that is what we do and who we are, and we want to do it well and because in the end, our art is always worth it.

Now you don’t…


About suehealy

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. TV 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. Stage 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). Radio Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. Prose 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

13 responses to “All Cut Up

  • Holly Troy

    Sue – thanks for your post! All the best with your surgery – and all the logistics around it (I know how it goes)! be well. –

  • Wizard of Eutopia

    good luck and thanks for all the posts – I like others have consumed them for fuel to the flame of the craft. The dedication does show! We all need rimdered though – others don’t do it by magic either. There is a cost. As all the fairytales actually do tell us!

  • Kira

    Here’s hoping for a positive outcome and quick recovery.

  • catwoods


    Take care of yourself. No matter which path we choose in life, embrace it and live it to the fullest. No regrets. And whatever you do, don’t measure it up against another’s. It is your alone.

    Hope you recover quickly and have lots of fun with your relatives.

  • lauras50by50

    Best of luck with the surgery and the to and fro.

    You have a passion…it’s more rare than you might think!

  • Heather F.

    First of all, I hope you do well with your procedure. My most positive thoughts are with you.

    I also wanted to let you know that I relate to so much of what you say in this post. I too am single, although I’m lucky to have my parents still in my life to help me out if things get too bad. But when they’re gone, I’m on my own. With the chronic health problems I have, sometimes the idea is very frightening. I lean heavily on my writing and reading — as long as I have those, I know I’ll find a way to get by.

  • Gary Graham

    Hi Sue, I hope today went well and that you get back to your inspirational and enjoyable blogs ASAP. I read them all. thanks from a Waterfordian (blow in) Gary

  • jpbohannon

    Best of luck with the surgery. If it helps I wrote a post a while back how anesthesia may be the perfect vacation. Be well.

  • Vikki (The View Outside)

    Good luck honey, I hope it all went well 🙂


  • suehealy

    Dear All, thank you so much for all your well wishes. I survived the ordeal : ) And an angel appeared in the guise of my kind Portuguese flatmate who took some hours off work to come and collect me (hospital would only release me into the care of a ‘responsible adult’ – a problem as not only am I on my own in this country, but I don’t know many ‘responsible adults’. ) Feeling a bit tired an emotional now, but was fussed over with food, tea and hotwater bottles by said flatmate, and my landlord, and have been cheered by your messages and calls and emails from friends. Suddenly, I don’t feel so alone, I feel rather lucky in fact.. Thanks all.

  • Besma at Life Demiraged

    Hi Sue, first of all I wish you good health. I have nominated you for an an award, see my post ‘Silver Quill Blogger Award’.

  • trajwani

    This is so awesome! Thank you for sharing. It’s really inspiring to see a fellow writer not giving up on her passion to write. I so needed this. I just wrote a blog entry on one of my blogs to celebrate people like you who 1) took the time to look at my other blog- Dance Me Free- and comment or follow it – thank you :-), and 2) who take the time to share their experiences and thoughts with others out there, even if they are uncertain of who will, and how they will, be received. Thanks. Here is the link if you feel like checking it out :
    And I hope you don’t mind if once in awhile, I link your blog, or your posts, to my writing blog. 🙂

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