|Pic credit: ToniVC|
And sometimes it's tempting to see creative writing in the same way, particularly drama. Good theatre is relevant. You've written a play with a modern audience in mind, you want them to see it as quickly as possible. It often has, as the critics put it, 'something to say'.
And yet, and yet, and yet...
My stuff doesn't work like that. It does need time to mature, for me to make it as good as it can possibly be. I've been amazed recently at open mic nights when people have just finished work and read it from their iphones. The thought is enough to send me into blind panic. I mean, I enjoyed the immediacy of it, but if that were me, I wouldn't even know what it was I'd written. I'm not saying their work was rubbish - it wasn't, I enjoyed it - but I personally could never share that quickly. I don't think it's a confidence thing. I think I'm just learning more about my own process.
Shortly after I had my son, Linda McLean on twitter - follow her, she's great - said something to me about time. With a newborn, there are two times: the chronological one, which is fast and a much slower time with the baby. I think that's powerful and true. And I think I've learnt to embrace that slower time and apply it to my writing. Good work is good work and will always speak to us. It doesn't need to be rushed. Hopefully patience is enabling me to write more good work. Hopefully.