My thanks to the wise soul who sent that quote my way.
Yep, it’s time for another wee update from Scribe’s Corner. This week, I’ve been reading the truly marvellous book The Writer’s Tale by Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook. Yes, it has a certain fiery ellipse on the cover, but this outstanding tome is not a book about Doctor Who. Not really. It’s about writing. In the author’s own words, it’s about how the act of writing is a “mad, sexy, sad, scary, obsessive, ruthless, joyful, and utterly, utterly personal thing.”
Not only is this book fascinating and amusing, and possessive of that strangely voyeuristic pleasure of snooping on the correspondence of interesting people (for that is what the book is chiefly composed of). It is also oddly inspiring and reassuring. Reassuring because lengthy passages of it are spent by Davies describing the frustration and exhaustion and panic of bleeding oneself into ones own writing. Simply put, he describes all the shitty feelings that anybody whose every really written will be familiar with.
The first 56 pages are available as a teaser on the official website for those who may be curious.
It’s been a helpful companion to me this week because I have indeed been writing. And creatively failing. Both of these things. And it is comforting to do so in the company of an award winning professional. Because when Russell T.Davies fears failure, it is failure that brings upon his shoulders BBC One, the entire BBC Wales production unit, legion fans, his professional reputation, the viewing millions and 45 years of TV history. I on the other hand, just had Jan Grimshaw, some gawping French schoolkids and the milling crowds of Canterbury High Street watching me.
You see, we started filming ‘Woolworths Isn’t Dead’ this week, and it hasn’t worked. I think it’s good to admit failure. To address it, to learn from it. It makes you stronger. And Bakery products should be strong.
There are numerous problems. Some of them are script based. Some of them are filming based. It was also freezing cold, which stilted my performance. And shop alarms started going off. And drunken crowds came to talk to us. As did one rotund disabled boy. Then there was a camera fault, and the fact that we only had access to microphone equipment for one day.
Suffice to say, at the end of a day’s filming I wasn’t satisfied. I’ve edited together what we got, and it works. Roughly. But there’s so much missing. Hmm. This either requires a rethink or completely scrapping. I’ll keep you updated on what becomes of this particular project. However, if the currently abandoned High Street branch of Woolworths turns into another shop soon then the chances of completion are practically nil. I hate abandonning projects, it’s something I try never to do, but sometimes the Gods place too many obstacles in your path!
Anyhow, I feel I’ve learned a lot from this filming experience. And The Bakery still has LOTS of other things currently in production which are going well. Filming has continued on Al’s forthcoming short, and will continue to do so this Thursday. And plans are underway for the next Gulbenkian Podcast, and maybe even the aforementioned film ‘The Man at Number 11’ and lots more besides.
If you fear that this latest blog post is rather too downbeat for your liking, then allow me to point you in the direction of something smile-inducing, of which I have been reminded this week, and which I have already mentioned over on the Konkerbury Blog. I was contacted by Ben, one half of musical duo Ben&Amy. They had previously supplied the specially composed musical intro for my evening-long audio extravaganza KONKERS NIGHT on Kent radio station CSR FM. Well, they also happened to sample some of my speech and mix it into a track called ‘Guildford Based’ which is available to hear on their Myspace page. Silly and wonderful and full of blippy noises. We salute you Ben&Amy.