The Break That Broke

It started off with a crack in a shower tray. Fairly innocuous. Noticeable only to a barefoot bather; a sensation of slight roughness against the otherwise smooth ceramic. “Must get that fixed” I thought to myself, presuming it to be a straightforward out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new job.

“If the shower tray is being replaced, maybe I should get the entire suite replaced”.

Makes sense, right? Maybe a new under stairs toilet would be good too. I’ll get the plumber to price that while he’s here. The under stairs toilet needs an exit pipe running under the kitchen; well, if the kitchen floor is being dug up I might as well get a new kitchen. It would be a shame to have a lovely new kitchen and then get the damp proofing done in the sitting room because the new kitchen will be ruined with builders coming and going through the backdoor. See where this is going? So the shower tray led to a new bathroom, which led to an under stairs toilet, in turn leading to a new kitchen and a fully renovated sitting room. And heaven forbid any of this should be straightforward- the damp proofing of the living room ended up with a three story wall being completely removed and rebuilt.

Oh, little crack in a shower tray, how deceptive you were.

So, why am I sharing this tale of domestic woe? Well, it started with a little crack. A small break in something that was otherwise fine which grew into something larger and unplanned. When I submitted my adaptation script in July I decided to take a “little break” from writing. Just a week off without worrying about plots and characters and themes. Big mistake! One week became two and I’ve yet to return with the same gusto I once possessed. I’ve a final scene to write and then I’ve completed a one-act script but I’m avoiding it like the plague. I really don’t know why. In desperation I’ve been reading up on playwriting (it’s almost as good as actually writing, right?). In fairness, the reading has been beneficial (Writing a Play by Steve Gooch) but I need to get back to my script and compete it, even if it is just to have a competed first draft of a full play. Likewise, I need to start working properly on my slate for when I commence second year of the MA Scriptwriting in October.

Anyway- the lesson I’ve learnt is to never take a break, or more realistically, I’ve learnt the importance of structure and discipline in being a writer. Similarly, the development of something small into something larger lends itself nicely to the process of writing- whether from a positive or negative perspective. The positive is that a small idea can grow and expand; the negative is that without the right structures and supports in place the little idea can run amok and become unruly. Being a writer, as I’m learning, is about reining in those ideas and being structured without losing your creativity. No mean feat. I’ve also learnt that old houses are hard work. And, clearly, I’m a masochist.

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