Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Of an evening

Evenings are normally the worst time for writing for me. I'm a morning person and, come sunset, I start to fade ... rapidly. But this play and this process have enough energy and excitement in them to keep me coming back and trying this night time writing thing.

My children are reading in bed, my husband's at work, the cat is lying stretched out on the bed next to me and all is calm. I've been re-reading the new draft of the first act, which I finished on the weekend. There are things I'd forgotten that I'd written, forgotten that I'd thought. They surprise me. In a good way.

I think I'm in the honeymoon phase. I love this world of the play, I love the characters - even when they terrify me, I love the writing of it.

Which is probably why I've been neglecting this blog. Writing time is precious and it's devoted to the play.

The thing I've learnt this week is that writing can be an escape from the world. I always used reading as an escape. When life was too hard or too cruel, I'd escape in a book and lose myself for as long as it took to read from start to finish, and then for the hours or days of reflection afterwards. I didn't know that writing could also afford that sort of escape.

On a personal level, the last week has been unbelievably awful. Many, many tears have been shed. I didn't think I'd be able to write at all. But, when it came down to it, I found that, within three minutes of sitting down with my laptop, I was transported. All the hurt disappeared as this other world materialised. I was lost inside a story and inside other characters for as long as I could spend writing.

What a great discovery! I used to have a terror of being stranded somewhere without books. It's still a ghastly thought and is one of many reasons that I can't understand why anyone would ever want to be on Big Brother! What a relief to know that without a book there can still be flight. This time on the wings of a pen, or a keyboard, or a stick in the sand.

Anyway, it's time to kiss the children good night and step into that other world now.

Good night.

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