Monday, December 11, 2006

How Dickens did me in

In The Guardian, Simon Gray relives his struggle to write a play about Charles Dickens.
I can't write when I'm afraid to write. When I force myself I become self-conscious, which is worse than not writing, as it makes me feel ashamed, and bogus. On the other hand, not writing makes me feel stolen from - but by whom or what? Time, perhaps. I decided to give up on the play for a while, get stuck into something else.

Stuck into what? My sense of failure with Dickens lapped into whatever I was writing, as if I were doomed to keep on repeating the experience, though in increasingly minor keys as my projects became increasingly less ambitious: attempts to convert my old stage plays into television films, for instance. Or my old television films into stage plays.

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