The Finished Artwork.

Artists do art and the final work is what the viewers see and judge.

Well that is how it used to work.

More and more recently there is a trend of the viewer or the reader or listener becoming more and more interested in the process of the artwork.

The internet and social media clearly play their part here.

Singers and musicians release snippets of the songs they are working on. Painters show their canvases in process. Writers . . .

Writers still tend to be quite secretive about their progress and process.

They might reveal a novel title early-ish. Perhaps an Instagram photo of the writer out of town might give a clue to a location for the story. If you are lucky, maybe you get a ‘down to the last 30,000 words’!

Television programs such as Masterchef and Bake-off, Portrait and Landscape Artist of the Year, are all drawing their audiences into the the process of the thing, rather than simply the product.

A couple of years ago I came across a YouTube video of Moby which documented the process he went through to create a song, with the added pressure of a time limit – he absolutely smashed it, by the way.

For me as a writer it was the the book, Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me by Andy Martin. Academic Andy Martin managed to get Lee Child to agree to having his shoulder overlooked whilst he wrote the twentieth book in his best selling series.

After reading this book, I wrote my first complete novel, within three months. I had read the previous nineteen Jack Reacher novels and loved them, but the final products hadn’t created the spark which enabled me to complete my first novel.

So why don’t we, as writers, agree to share more of the process of writing.

The audience is there, I’m sure.

And I will begin . . .


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