The Writing panel took place on Saturday at Summer in the City 2018 in Panel Room B. It featured Elle Mills, Hazel Hayes, Connie Glynn, Jack Howard, Dean Dobbs, Dottie James, and Bethan Leadley. It was chaired by Paul Neafcy.
Paul began by asking the panellists how they turn their ideas into projects. Connie said that she visualises an image that she bases her ideas on which she later develops, and Dottie mentioned that looking at shadows on a train had inspired a poem for her. Bethan responded that she visualises how she wants the final project to be and tries to plan around that. Elle said that her work is based on emotions and she tries to convey feelings to her audience in her projects.
Paul followed up by asking the panellists about decision-making when writing, and how it affects the way projects get developed. Connie and Bethan both agreed that writing is based on a gut visceral instinct, whereas Hazel said that for her, entire scenes play out inside her head, and through that the process of writing becomes easier. Hazel also recommended the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, which she suggested would allow audiences to help create and develop their writing.
This was echoed later when the panellists discussed being disciplined while writing, and how demotivation is hard to work around. Dottie said that for her, being given a deadline increases productivity and allows her to focus on what she wants to create. Hazel reiterated the fact that having a deadline allows her to focus but also told the audience to “put your fucking phone away” as the procrastination of endlessly scrolling ruins any productivity.
Paul opened the panel to questions from the audience, to which someone asked how the writers develop their ideas beyond a basic premise. Jack said to remember what made you fall in love with the idea in the first place, but to allow yourself to develop the ideas however they form. Dottie mentioned how she brainstorms and plans her ideas before beginning, but even then the idea may deviate from what she sets out to create.
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