Thursday, 23 April 2009

Steady As She Goes

I entered the world of Bloggers on 12 April and somehow thought it was going to be plain sailing. After all, once you've got to grips with the basics (and have a good friend like Brian Sibley to explain how to make your links look a bit tidier and YouTube clips ready to view), all you have to do is write - whatever you want.

Not entirely true as can be gleaned from the fact that I've just deleted half a dozen paragraphs of blogging I suddenly realised wasn't going anywhere.

I remember the first time I wrote to Ian Richardson, in December 1993, saying that his acting as Francis Urquhart and Andrew Davies' scriptwriting had inspired me to return to my first love, writing.

Ian wrote back and said 'why not - after all, all writers have to do is write, whereas actors have to wait for work to come along.'

That's very true but, as Ian came to realise through getting to know me over the years, people have to want to read what you've written for you to be a successful writer and it can be an extremely difficult and frustrating career path in the same way that acting often is.

Of course that assumes that you want your writing to reach a wider audience. Many people write just for their own amusement or as a means of therapy or organising their thoughts. Letter-writing can be a wonderful means of expressing yourself and sharing your life with others. Some writers are content to share their work with fellow writers and perhaps enter competitions but have no desire to attempt to get anything published.

But, to earn your living as a writer, it's necessary to keep writing all the time and be aiming to produce something that a publisher or an editor wants.

So, although I hope my blogs will eventually reach a wider audience, I have to bear in mind the fact that 'paid' writing and all the other jobs associated with promoting it, has to take precedence.
Which brings me back to combining this Blog with a little more promotional work for We Could Possibly Comment (you'll notice I've now added my author details - another task to divert me from here).

Here's a little illustration and reminder of the explosive power of Ian's acting.


  1. The first time I wrote to Ian I was contemplating emigration to the UK because I much preferred British theatre to German theatre. I wrote to Ian and asked him for advice. He responded right away and warned me that it would be very difficult but of course I could try anyway and prove him wrong. Why not? - I moved to the UK and it is very difficult but perhaps I will prove Ian wrong eventually.

  2. Somehow I think that when we succeed in the difficult situations it is so much more satisfying.

    I just wonder how many letters Maroussia (Ian's wife)typed for him over the years. He was incredibly generous with his time - something that is certainly reflected in the book.

  3. Great clips of FU and good to see the book material coming together!

  4. Yes, they're not my personal favourite clips, apart from the first one, which is awesome.

    I particularly remember some of the scenes in To Play the King where FU is walking through the corridors in Parliament, addressing the audience and mocking the opposition, saying things like "'Is the Prime Minister aware' - very frightening - like being mugged by a hamster."

    Andrew Davies wrote some terrific lines for scenes like that, and of course the delivery was perfect.