My Life as a writer
When did you first realise you wanted to write for a living?
I didn’t realise I wanted to be a writer for quite a long time. I had always wanted to work as a director and had been struggling to find screenwriters to collaborate with. Really I started writing out of necessity in order to tell stories that resonated with me and I didn’t realise I was a ‘writer’ until about a year ago when I submitted a script to Flickers’ Rhode Island Film Festival and ended up placing as a semi-finalist and since then I’ve been working on honing my craft by attending screenwriting festivals, courses and talks in order to further develop my skills as a storyteller.
Which writer, past or present, do you most admire?
The first screenplay I ever read was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by Charlie Kaufman. I had never read a script before, but I remember falling in love with the writing and read it back to back about three times before returning it to my university library. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it!
What was your first published (or performed) credit as a writer?
I am Sherlock Holmes was the first short film I wrote and directed. I made it in partnership with a charity who gave us a tiny budget of just £500 to make the film (for me this was my first official commissioned project). The film was about mental health in the LGBTQ+ community and went on to screen at Miami Short Film Festival, Derby Film Festival, Loch Ness Film Festival and Hamilton New York Film Festival.
Which piece of writing work are you most proud of?
The script I finished recently is a mockumentary called Killing for a Living. I entered it into the BAFTA Rocliffe emerging writers competition and although it didn’t win, it did get some amazing feedback and I’m hoping to submit it to some more screenwriting contests over the coming months!
Who or what inspires you to write?
I find inspiration in all sorts of places. I find that most of my ideas come when I’m not looking for them. I try to go on walks and be close to nature and have found that a lot of ideas just sneak into my head when I am doing something else.
How do you switch off when you’re not writing?
I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing as a way to stay in shape and also to give my mind a bit of a break from writing. I think having a physical hobby that allows you to focus on being in the moment is a great way of giving your mental health a boost and to unwind – especially if you’re struggling from writer’s block!
Which one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t quit after the first draft.
It’s often said that writing is re-writing, mainly because it is. The first draft is always just the starting point. You need to make sure you’re investing time into further development and getting feedback from people you trust. It makes a lot of difference.
Why are you a member of WGGB?
I decided to join the WGGB because I felt that it was time to take myself seriously as a writer and get involved more in the writing community.
I’m a writer/director based in West London with a passion for taking ordinary stories and making them extraordinary.