WRITING – Do You Write Better When The Sun Is Shining Or When It’s Cold And Miserable?
I flipped on the TV last night just to relax with an hour of mindless nothingness and was pleasantly surprised to see an interview between Mark Lawson and Michael Palin. Great. Feet up. Glass of something mildly alcoholic. Just the job.
Now for non-UK readers Mark Lawson is a good interviewer. He knows how to bring out the best in the person being interviewed without being too pushy or over the top. He also knows his stuff. Art, culture, film and TV, the media, he’s on the ball.
Michael Palin of course was one of the original ‘Pythons’ (Monty Python…Monty Python’s Flying Circus)….who has also had a successful solo TV career – Around The World In 80 Days, Pole To Pole, Himalayas…..again I think you get the picture.
Now to the point of this post….they were chatting about how the Python team wrote the ridiculously funny sketches and in particular the film screenplays (The Life of Brian etc)……and seemingly in the Pythons there were two contrasting views on how they should write, and where.
John Cleese and Eric Idle were all for going off somewhere exotic and hot to write…..to enjoy themselves, make it like a party, let themselves go wild….and also come up with funny ideas and write them down between drinks and falling in the pool.
Michael Palin and Terry Jones preferred the opposite….opting to stay at home in London under grey leaden skies, frozen stiff, with the cold and rain forcing them to bunker down and do nothing but write. The ‘life in the sun’ could wait until later as a kind of reward for all their hard work.
So which is the better way to work?
Well, only the individual writer can decide that. What would you do? Which would you choose? And which method would produce the best results?
I used to co-write bits and pieces with a chum and I would often suggest if we had something important and immediate to write that we should jet off somewhere hot and exotic (well at least scenic) and spend a week writing non-stop whatever we had to come up with….okay, a few beers in the evening would be pleasant, but even then we’d expect to chat about ‘the script’.
But it never happened. Life and families and other distractions got in the way. Pity. It would have been interesting to see if we could have done it….or even done it ‘better’ whatever that means.
And these days?
Well, I really do enjoy writing in winter. Bunkering down is my thing. I enjoy locking the door, drawing the curtains, turning up the heating, and settling down to work in a small room (not the smallest room obviously, although…..no, we’ll not go there for now, thankyou)…..
Yep, give me the cold and the rain and the general miserableness and dullness of winter in the U.K. Well, it works for me. How about yourself?