My Life as a writer
When did you first realise you wanted to write for a living?
I used to draw comic strips and animated characters a great deal as a child, and later realised I was storyboarding stories. Once I got to know words, I thought it would be lovely to be a writer/illustrator. Then I got to know TV and saw the sheer power and versatility of stories on screen, especially with impactful sound and music.
Which writer, past or present, do you most admire?
Neil Gaiman. There is such humour and kindness in his mysterious worlds. He reveals such humanity, especially in things that are unearthly. It’s especially exciting that so much of his work is coming to screen (and stage) and new audiences.
What was your first published (or performed) credit as a writer?
I wrote and produced a one act play called The Conversation at Theatro Technis, in 2005. It was a punchy, real time two-hander about an amicable break-up, written as a vehicle for myself and another actor when we were starting out. We both got agents and a career as a result, and all this time later we are working on our next project together in our own theatre company Misplaced.
Which piece of writing work are you most proud of?
I am very proud of the writing I’ve been doing for Big Finish Audio. I’ve got to play with characters from the worlds of Doctor Who, and even write for my Doctor. But the piece I’m most proud of is an audio play yet to be released.
Who or what inspires you to write?
There’s too much vibrant inner life inside me, with stories and scenarios and characters all playing like cinema in my mind already. It needs to get out so I can know some peace! But I also have so much to say, and from a largely unrepresented perspective.
How do you switch off when you’re not writing?
I dance with an Afro dance class, attend improv classes, pitch up to life drawing classes with my charcoal, get lost in the woods and listen to the birds, and sing my heart out.
Which one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Some days are a trudge, others are a sprint, and not necessarily in the order you would expect. Each project has its own terrain: embrace that you’ll always begin anew.
Why are you a member of WGGB?
To access networks and resources, discover allies, collaborators, and friends, and to expand my horizons with professional backing.
Alison Winter is a writer and producer. Find out more about her on her website.