I was thinking about that quote this morning during the early part of my mammoth train journey from London to Aberdeen. I told myself that I would write most of the way up thereby helping to pass the time and not wasting it drinking hugely overpriced cans of Carling Black Label. A writer writes. Now it may sound fairly obvious but it really struck a chord with me. I’ve recently finished reading Roger Moore’s excellent biography ‘My Word is My Bond’. A similar line from when Roger was learning his trade was that unless you’re acting, you’re not really an actor.
I like to tread the boards as often as I can. I’m appearing in the BBC1 drama Hope Springs at the moment but as yet I have nothing else lined up. An actor acts and a writer writes. Most careers in the arts give precious little opportunity to be fussy. Take the jobs that come your way and make the very best of them. One of the reasons I write this blog is to keep myself writing. Some days there are pages and pages of nonsense simply queuing up to be heard while other days it’s more of a struggle. I believe Bob Dylan said much the same thing about song writing. On those days I have to dig a little deeper in order create something I’m happy with. Reread it over and over, looking for the opportunity to put in a funny story or observation.
I guess the point is that irrespective of what we do – or say that we do – we have to it, and do it to the very best of our ability. Otherwise we’d all be introducing ourselves along the lines of “Hi, I’m Gavin and I used to be an actor.”