One of my aims for 2019 is to find a writing routine that works for me. I generally believe that each project will find its own way of being written, but I’d still like to form better habits around how I structure the days set aside as ‘writing days’. In particular, I’d like to feel better on those days – less worried, less stressed, less guilty – and I’d like to improve my focus. So this is what I’ve been trying during January.
I re-read Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites at the start of this year (which I’d heartily recommend if you’re looking for a good winter read), and in the author’s note at the end, Kent talks about finding herself with all the resources she needed to write, and not a clue how to go about it. So she decided to set a daily target of 1000 words. She’d sit down at her desk in the morning and, whatever happened or however long it took, she’d write 1000 words every day – with the logic that even if it was total nonsense, at least after 100 days, she’d have 100,000 words.
I wanted to blog about Ruckus Retreat as soon as I got back. I knew the longer I left it, the more it would feel like a dream. But here I am, a week later, waking up, struggling to keep hold of the lucid-flying-fantasy details of it all.
I’d never been on a retreat before Ruckus but I have been to conferences, workshops, festivals, masterclasses – the sorts of things you’re supposed to do as an ~emerging creative~ who’s taking their practice seriously and living a creative, art-driven life. For me, the most powerful takeaway from Ruckus is what that really means.
This piece by Emily Holyoake was originally published at Exeunt Magazine on 9 May 2017.
THE NORTH! THE NORTH! Written and performed by Chris Harrisson Saturday 6 May 2017, The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter
Chris Harrisson describes The North! The North! as ‘Extra-Live’, and in the aftermath I’m still getting to grips with what this means. He writes that extra-live is a continuation of the thought process behind staging relaxed performances, which are designed to be accessible to everyone. But although it’s definitely accessible, ‘relaxed’ isn’t the right word to describe the experience of watching The North! The North! – it feels anything but safe.
This piece by Emily Holyoake was originally published at The F-Word on 3 May 2017.
ALL THE LITTLE LIGHTS by Jane Upton Presented by Fifth Word and Nottingham Playhouse Saturday 22 April 2017, Theatre Royal Plymouth
Performed by: Esther-Grace Button, Sarah Hoare, Tessie Orange-Turner
Directed by: Laura Ford
It is a relatively quiet final night of Fifth Word and Nottingham Playhouse’s All The Little Lights tour. The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth’s black box space, is just over half full and there is an atmosphere of caution among the audience. Jane Upton’s play about “young lives lived under the radar” is brightly, brilliantly funny in parts. But it’s very easy to laugh a split-second too late. This is a birthday party on a knife-edge.