WHO’S ON YOUR TEAM?
Who makes you feel alive and listened to? Who are your support team when you’re writing – and when you’re not?
I am lucky to have a very creative family – film-makers, artists and songwriters to name a few, and we are all avid consumers of plays, films, art shows and (whisper it) books. Our family dinners are hugely invigorating, a gathering of friends excitedly arguing about the merits of the latest release.
Not everyone has family like this. Yours might be supportive of your writing or not. Or you may feel they like but don’t really understand your work. Your family might in fact be refreshingly uninvolved in your creative life.
Family comes in other forms. Maybe you teach? My other community is at the Met Film School, Ealing Studios – a great place to meet other writers and directors and compare notes on how your script is going. My students keep me up to date by showing me what they’re watching and inspire me with their enthusiasm and can do attitude.
Maybe your friends outside work are the ones you have the best conversations with? They let you unwind, be yourself, forget your overactive brain – or stimulate you with fresh ideas, opinions, must-see movies. My friends are extraordinary individuals who give me continuity in a freelance life that is one long series of new beginnings.
If you need more people on your team, join a professional society – or start your own writers’ group. Writers are not natural ‘joiners’ but, as Groucho Marx didn’t quite say, if you can bear to join a club that would have you as a member then the wins become clear. I am hugely proud to be part of this year’s Women in Film and TV Mentoring Scheme. Not only do I have the advice of an excellent mentor, I have twenty new friends – my fellow mentees. Twenty talented and lovely women in my field whom I can call on when I need someone in my corner.
And it’s a two way street – the more people I am there for, the more my life has meaning.
You get my drift. It comes down to this. Don’t do it all alone. I’ve said it before, we are alone when we write, and we need that space to think. But we also need fuel for our engine. Energy. Heat. Argument. And love.
Who’s on your team? Make a list of the top ten people in your corner.
You can share your list below or tweet them a shout out on Twitter @emlin32.