As an advocate of education, it is good to know that lessons can come from anywhere, and if that lesson inspires then it is worth its weight in gold. Tonight I had the chance to listen to, and meet, one of the UK’s leading dramatists, John Godber, famous for Up n Under , which won an Olivier Award, Teechers, On the Piste, and much more.
It was an informal evening with John, and his wife Jane, sharing their experiences of theatre touring, the ups and downs and the humorous incidents along the way. I also was given the opportunity to ask John about writing, and playwriting in particular, how it has changed since he set out in the 1980’s to the present day and how fledgeling dramatists can get established. He gave me much to think about on how I can get my work out there but one important point came out: own it. He said don’t be too keen to give your work away, keep hold of it for as long as you can, develop it, direct it and possibly take it out yourself.
As writers we want our work to be out there, to be given an audience. So much so we lose ownership and end up sacrificing our babies for that one moment. Of course, I want my writing, my plays to have a wider appeal than just local drama groups but I believe John is right because I think, in a way, what he is saying, is that I should write for that audience of one, myself. Eventually, when that baby is all grown up I can let it go but until then I will own and nurture my work.
I suppose that’s what blogging is about. Do we write for others to read or is this just for ourselves, to let ourselves go? Others, we hope, will read, but as I write this, it’s initially for me