Thursday, October 18, 2007

Split personality? Moi?

It's a funny old life, this writing one. Last winter, after three years on a very big project, I was housebound, almost agoraphobic, and I think all my friends had just about given up on me. I was starting to envisage an old age of shuffling to the shops every afternoon for a little bit of entertainment, and beginning to think I'd been an idiot to choose this way of spending my life (not of course that it's a choice - I just can't help it).

Yet this summer and autumn, with the production of my play The Processing Room for the 24:7 Theatre Festival and the publication of Balancing on the Edge of the World (not to mention taking part in a short film) - well, let's say I haven't drawn breath, I am hardly ever home and when I am I'm climbing over piles of unwashed laundry, and - a writer with the need to observe! - hardly noticed the seasons passing until I was forced to do so, thankfully, to write the Manchester Blog Story.

So here I am longing for a bit of peace and quiet again and a CHANCE TO GET BACK PROPERLY TO WRITING!!! It's such an irony. You dedicate yourself to your writing and to do so you need to retreat (well, I do, anyway), to answer to nothing but your own dreams, but nowadays, once your writing becomes public there's no choice but for you to become public too - indeed to become some kind of mad PR machine - and, most ironic of all, the writing comes to a standstill.

And it's not over yet. There's the proper launch of the book, and I have three trips to London lined up, and today is the first, so excuse me now as I dash off for a shower and then for the train, dreaming of those cosy December days when at last I'll be able to sit down at the desk in my pyjamas and get lost inside my own head again...

And then of course, by March I'll be longing for contact with people and the outside world all over again...

2 comments:

Shameless said...

Yes, this is the irony ... the writer sitting alone and then having to become public. You've captured something I've often thought about. I've read this kind of thought process from other writers too. Frenetic is a good word here. Good luck with everything! :-)

Elizabeth Baines said...

Many thanks, Shameless - and the same to you!