Withdraw the watcher at the gates: Things I wish I’d known when starting out (4)







Further Things I Wish I’d Known When Starting Out: 

Real writers write. Would-be writers talk about it. Endlessly. Shut your mouth and get out the pen or laptop.

Write from your passion, your fascination.

Try to still the inner critic and censor. Withdraw what Schiller called the watcher at the gates, what I like to think of as the guard to the gates of the mind.

Understand it is a process. You can’t get it perfect first draft, so be kind to yourself and persevere.

Learn your craft. You need to know how to construct before you can deconstruct, know the ‘rules’ before you can subvert or break them.

Have something to say and a compulsion to communicate it.

Some of this material was taken from:                                                                                      Q and A with Kaite O’Reilly. http://www.shermancymru.co.uk/kaite-oreilly/

4 responses to “Withdraw the watcher at the gates: Things I wish I’d known when starting out (4)

  1. Hi, I’d like to subscribe to your blog. Thanks!
    Sally Stubbs

    • Sally,
      thanks for wanting to subscribe – it always helps to know there is an audience out there, and I’m not just writing into the void! I’m afraid I can’t personally add you on to the subscription list. You can subscribe to my blog by clicking on the ‘subscribe’ button on the home page, which has the most recent post. I gather you click on that button, and then you will receive a confirming email from WordPress which you need to reply to, and then you will receive automatically by email any new blog I post online. I hope that makes sense and that you manage to subscribe – apparently it’s a simple process – and you can unsubscribe any time you want, too! Good luck! Kaite

  2. Kaite,

    You’re so Beckett. (‘Shut your mouth and get out the pen.’) Love it! Otherwise known as ‘sh*t in the pot or get off it’.

    I must admit to a guilty wince at the comment on talking, not writing. My version of this is making notes which I grandly call ‘planning’. Then I write more notes on character and theme which I grandly call ‘research.’ Which is fine but it can take the spontaneity and breath out of the idea.

    Passion, of course – and one you’ve cleverly added, because there’s an assumption that the writer is bound to be passionate about their project but I do think you can start to forget why you wanted to write the piece, but an audience will see through a play that is all issue and no roar.

    And your censor/don’t get it right get it written rules go really well with number one on the list.

    I hate rules but I don’t mind yours because you’re quite nice.

    • Wondrous, Hoody, as ever….
      I find that if I talk too much about a project, I lose the excitement and the energy required to write the bloody thing — it feels secondhand and used, done already if I’ve talked too much of it before actually writing it. Part of the excitement (and the passion) in writing for me is in going somewhere I haven’t before – it’s unexplored territory – and if I write it with an idea in my head which is unvoiced, it allows flexibility – it isn’t yet prescribed or decided (say something and it is). I find that actually I should go in that unexpected direction (which may be the’ right’ and best thing for the script) – whereas if I’ve talked about it too much, I may have over-defined and decided things perhaps too early in the process….
      And I’m not a great one for rules (apart form knowing what they are, so you can break them) – I hope it’s descriptive rather than prescriptive – just some things I wish I’d known earlier in my career, which may have saved me time and heartache….

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