When Olympic dreams fail

Today is the day the Olympic Torch comes through my hometown of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Hopefully the rain will stop in time for my daughter and I to line the streets and watch the symbol of hope and unity jog past in the sweaty palm of one of the inspiring torchbearers who have been nominated for their contribution to their community. Good for them. But for me, today is a bitter sweet day.

For the last 18 months I’ve been living with the hope that my play Marathon, about the first woman Olympic marathon runner at the 1896 games, would be performed today as part of the Cultural Olympiad. The play has a wonderful producer (Pete Mortimer from Cloud Nine Productions) and a pretty decent scriptwriter (moi) and has almost been taken on by two of the region’s leading theatres. I even had an endorsement from Olympic Women, an organisation promoting greater awareness of women athletes through history. And yet, somehow, it never happened. Overfull programmes, shortage of cash, etc etc etc. Continue reading “When Olympic dreams fail”

Writing is a Marathon

Many students on my writing courses think that only three rewrites of a piece of work are necessary: the first draft which gets the story down, the second draft which then tidies and tightens the story then the third draft which is essentially an edit. However, most professional writers know that if you can get away with three drafts, you’re lucky!

I’m currently working on the seventh draft of my play Marathon. This is not because I don’t know when to stop – I thought I had ‘cracked’ it with draft six – but after feedback from a theatre group at a staged reading I realised the story of my heroine Stamata Revithi needed to start earlier and take a slightly different direction.

I know this seventh rewrite will not be the last as now that the story is being reshaped it will need further work. However, I’m encouraged to keep going with it as there is talk that it might actually get presented on the day the Olympic Torch passes through the North East of England.

Writing is a marathon, not a sprint.

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