Friday, 10 September 2010

Martyrs To Writing

By Richard Jay Parker

Thanks to Simon Dawson and Mel Sharratt for providing the inspiration for this week's blog. They left some comments on the back of my last blog that got me thinking about a group of people who are the unsung heroes of the writing world - our partners.

Whether you're married, cohabiting or just sharing a living space with others, the miasma from the writing process is frequently difficult to deal with. How many sit across from us at meal times looking at our glassy stares because, even though we've been persuaded to turn off our computer, we're still immersed in our work.

I always experience an anticlimax when I finish work for the day because I've never written as much as I want. What jolly company I must be. Then there's the making of copious notes at all hours, on weekends, when we should be enjoying quality time and even on holidays.

Then there's those highs and (mostly) lows that our partners and friends have to endure with us. A morsel of good news - an email or a telephone call - transforms our mood and makes it all seem worth it. 'I'm taking this with a pinch of salt.' 'I'm not getting excited.' But of course we don't and we do.

They don't know what the hell we're doing most of the time. Our enthusiasm stems from something that's hidden in our heads for the majority of a project. Their support is an act of blind faith - or they're just humouring us. Whatever the case, the creative process is difficult for a writer but equally as frustrating to watch.

Mel suggested a support group for writers' partners but I'm not so sure. Do we really want to be talked about - our habits dissected? No - let the bi-products of our writing remain shrouded in mystery. If writer idiosyncrasies became public knowledge we'd never persuade anyone to live with us.

So - a 21 gun salute for the partners of grouchy, introspective, partially insane writers. We couldn't do it without you. Now, I'm just going up to the office for an hour. Just an hour.


Some time ago I wrote a horror short for British horror stalwart, David McGillivray. He wrote a couple of horror movie classics that bridged the gap between Hammer and the Video nasties era in the UK. Due to my previous writing life I'm no stranger to TV crews and shooting schedules but I did enjoy spending some time on location when it was being shot. It was called SLEEP TIGHT and many of the technicians on the set had impressive movie CVs having worked on the original Star Wars trilogy, The Doctor Phibes movies and, more importantly, Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

SLEEP TIGHT is still languishing in post production but while the finishing touches are being added I wrote a quickie script for David which was shot a couple of months ago. The challenge was to encapsulate a horror movie in one minute.

You can see it HERE - One caveat though - it's not for the faint-hearted.

More about Richard's novel and work at


  1. My wife wants me to write a best seller for her, but she often complains that I'm 'always on that computer'. Can't win, can we? You can find me on and why not have a look in at www.acclaimed

  2. My husband always wants to know if any husbands are killed in the books I'm working on. He asked before he read CUT SHORT, ROAD CLOSED and DEAD END (publication 2011) and is now asking about my current MS... hmmm. Maybe I'll surprise him one day - in fiction of course. I couldn't survive my hectic routine without him. Yes, as RJP says, couldn't do this without my partner.