Making solo work – especially that bit at the beginning where you are on your own – how does that work? 

Convener(s): Rachel Mars

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Ideas and practical advice:

  • Avoid being in a room by yourself
  • Get other people to set writing/practical challenges for you before hand
  • Helpful books – ‘The 5 Minute Writer’, ‘The Write Brain Book’ ‘Save the Cat’
  • Don’t worry about making/writing the show
  • Make lists of seemingly unrelated tasks that can take a few hours to do (actions, songs, dancing) then do them. Pack your time and exhaust yourself
  • Perform for invisible crowds, identity negative ‘saboteur’ audiences in your head and ask them to leave
  • Make small objectives and delight in small achievements
  • Find other people also working alone to share a room/rehearsal space with you, and set ‘showings’ at intervals throughout the day
  • Give your group a snappy name and approach venues to use their non-used space for the methods in 8)
  • Condense the epic – if you imagine a show that is massive, find bonkers ways/forms to make it with just you
  • Play loud music
  • Set daily rituals/tasks
  • Learn your own rhythms and work with them – if you know you are not useful after lunch, go for a walk or watch a film or don’t work at all
  • Identify when you are not working for yourself, but actually trying to please other people
  • Just tell the story
  • Make the shittest version
  • Develop the ‘witness self’ – ways of working alone with different selves
  • Notice if you are ignoring your own achievements because they are being ignored by others – give yourself your dues
  • Create a dance –often, badly and especially when the content of a show might be heavy
  • Identify when is the right time to bring other people in – find honest people who are excited by the idea
  • Work outside
  • Use big paper and pens to write your show all over the walls, and structure a version of the show



A desire for a dream space, perhaps locally, to work in

‘It’s not safe as home’ – be warned about working there…

Being alone can mean the energy isn’t moving so makes it tough

Take on far too much and you might confuse yourself into making something

The trap of not wanting to be too shit and the trap of not wanting to be too good

‘Beauty and Order’ – if you are working alone engineer moments of joy and beauty, even if it just a piece of cake or a walk