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Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm a writer - I write.


Agreed. If you are a writer you must write. But that doesn't mean you only write. Who is this fine looking fellow above? Why, it's Patrick Stewart in his younger days. Why are we looking at Patrick then?
As we all know - he is a Shakespearean actor. He is part of the mammoth complete works of Shakespeare event at the RSC. But that doesn't mean that he only acts on the stage, doing Shakespeare. We all know him from Star Trek and X-Men also. But also he doesn't only act! He is being interviewed on TV, he is doing one man readings, he is going to Star Trek events - all sorts of things. The working life of an actor is more than acting. Even for those at the top. Those that have 'people' who can do things for them.

So it must be for writers.

And the benefit is clear. We all have a story that we want to be told - heck, we're writers. But the story on the page is only half of it. The story is also told in the conversations with the audience, with producers, with financiers. We need to be good at telling that story too. A story that is told in proposals, in meetings, on blogs, at talks, at Cannes etc.

If we get it right then our career benefits from this variety of skills. It will make you a better writer. Just like the range of work that Patrick Stewart does makes him a better actor AND allows him to plug RSC work while talking about X-Men 3! We talked way back when about how writer's aren't respected enough. But that's because no one knows who we are and what we do. And that's because we sit in the back room quietly. We can't increase our Gravity from there.

In short: A career as a writer isn't just about writing. Getting out of the back room will benefit both our writing and our industry visibility. We must be good at telling the story on the page and off the page.

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