My Life as a writer
When did you first realise you wanted to write for a living?
When I got my first job at 15 at my local deli. They asked me what my availability was and I told them I was available any time of the day or night except Thursdays 7.30-8.30 when Dawson’s Creek was on TV. They then rescinded the job offer.
Which writer, past or present, do you most admire?
What was your first published (or performed) credit as a writer?
I won a competition on a local radio station for writing a commercial for Pot Noodle and they paid me with a year’s supply of ‘Sweet & Sour’. Although it was an achievement, I still to this day can’t even smell a PN without getting PTSD.
Which piece of writing work are you most proud of?
Probably Alan’s Diary: Volume 4, January-December 2000.
When I cringe re-read my diary as a teen and I get past my improper use of the semi-colon; I can really recall the state of emotion I was in. The stakes were never higher! And although these events seem frivolous now, I was actually writing with pure abandon. So, at times when I have a writer’s block, I think back to myself as a teen and I’m able to write for the joy of it.
Who or what inspires you to write?
Generally having a new experience ignites something where I have to document it. I once witnessed a couple in an empty train car go crazy for their shared love of a huge ample orange they shared. It was one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever seen. Honest, emotional reactions from general human behaviour fascinates me as do low concept simple stories with complex characters.
How do you switch off when you’re not writing?
I love the gym and I’m seriously considering joining one.
Which one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
To make peace with the fact that the first draft of anything won’t be good. You have to get the words out first, *then* you can go back and edit. That was a huge lesson for me when I first started writing. I wanted it to be a work of art in its first iteration and it’s just not a constructive way to create.
Why are you a member of WGGB?
I want to become a part of a community that can help each other and to make more writer friends. Also, I won £108 in the Lotto so that felt like serendipity.
I was born in Dublin and moved to London to study Musical Theatre at Laine Theatre Arts and Speech & Drama at LAMDA.
In 2010 I won a GreenCard in the Diversity Visa Immigrant Programme and moved to New York City to study improv at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and Screenwriting at Gotham Writers.
Writing credits include:
Funny Bones (pilot), Upper Westie Side Story (short), A Real Fauxmance (short), Scene Stealer (short), A Very Good Bad Idea (short), Whiskey Ginger (pilot), Booked (short), Checkmate (short), Mé Féin (Short)
Performance credits include:
Theatre – Teresa’s Green, Stand Up Man, Pippin, Tanz Der Vampire, Cinderella, We Will Rock You, Aida
TV – Tommy, Law & Order: SVU, Origin Zero, Daddyhunt, Super Wings!, Abigail’s Party
Film – Elimination Strain, Normal People Explain Things to Me, Pay Pig, The Lord Inquisitor: Seed of Ambition, Ella Enchanted
To find out more go to www.alankelly.me