Wednesday, November 02, 2016


I've said it before and I'll say it again, writing is a lonely profession... but only if you let it be.

Those total legends and all round lovely chaps Tim Clague and Danny Stack have hit the nail on the head again with their latest UK Scriptwriters Podcast (which you can find here and here). Their monthly (or when they get around to it) podcast is always essential listening, fun, informative and something every one of you writers should be tuning in to.
The legendary Danny Stack and Tim Clague

Not only do they cover the basics, delve deep into a vast variety of screenwriting topics and concerns (some you may have never even thought about before) but they also conduct fascinating interviews with a wide range of important media people. Recent highlights include interviews with writer/producer Tony Jordan, writer/producer Chris Chibnall and agent Jean Kitson.

But it was this month's podcast that struck a chord with me, as Danny and Tim talked about writers' mental health and the importance of not isolating yourself. It was odd as I've been in a bit of rut lately and couldn't for the life of me figure out what was up. It wasn't until I listened to their podcast that I realised I had accidentally isolated myself and hadn't even noticed.

I've been so busy over the last few months, some weeks running around so much I was feeling a little like a headless chicken, that I had slowly cut myself off from my support network and real life , living breathing people. My communication up until yesterday pretty much entirely consisted of electronic communication and I had to really power up the little grey cells to figure out the last time I actually went out with my fellow writers or even my friends.

That's the problem you see, it's easy to get so involved in what you do, thinking you're time is at a premium and you need to spend as much of it in front of the computer as you can, that you can easily let human contact slip down your list of priorities, without even knowing you are doing it. It's a dangerous thing. Writing is a bloody difficult enough job as it is without making things more difficult by cutting yourself off from the world. I think a good proportion of writers are by nature introverts and even at the best of times it's difficult to get out there and mingle with like minded people. It's something that has to be done, not only for the progression of your career but also for the stability of your mental health.
Mmmm coffee

So Tim and Danny's podcast came as a timely reminder that I need to get out more, which is why I'm going to organise a Bournemouth Writers' drinking session for as soon as possible and when I've finished posting this blog I'm going to ring a writing friend who's just moved back to Bournemouth and arrange to meet her for a coffee next week.

Go and download Danny and Tim's podcast, phone a friend, arrange to meet for a coffee and don't let yourself become isolated. It's not good for the soul.

Happy writing!

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