Burn the flame. Burn it long.

Q&A with Jack Thorne

“You’ve got to get your heart ripped out and get back on the horse. Then you’ve got to get your heart ripped out again.”

I suppose I needed this. I’m doing an MA in Dramatic Writing at Central Saint Martins. I’m entering things and blogging and putting myself out there. I’m networking (trying to) and of course I’m writing. And writing and writing. The Q&A with Jack Thorne for IdeasTap, were not neccesarily keys to unlocking the secrets of getting my play produced and my writing out there. But the words from an endearingly awkward, self-deprecating man who wanted to write because it was something he was good at – was why I was there.

“Keep trying, keep pushing and keep hoping”, and “I lived in my brother’s sitting room” were the fundamentals in his story. Mine might go something like this when one day I’m sitting in front of a room full of talented but frustrated writers listening to me talk about my wonderful career: “I gave up a career at GMTV” and “I sat in Starbucks because they had free WiFi.”

What Jack Thorne did do for me was to help me understand his writing process. He spoke about how he gets the words from in his mind to the page. He works like a jigsaw puzzle, fitting the pieces together of the plays he’s writing. Somehow they’ve all made sense. Somehow he’s been very successful with it. I asked him this – the million dollar question about being a working writer. He answered by simply telling me that I’ve got to write something that people want to hear, want to watch. I didn’t say this, but that is what I’m trying to do. All what I write about, I truly believe someone would want to hear it. He signed his book of plays that I bought, “Titi, Burn the flame. Burn it long. It will happen. Jack.”

The plan is to look back at all these blog posts and chuckle at my frustrated past. As I am about to go and do a Q&A to a room full of talented but frustrated writers.



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