Changing Lanes – a guest post from Angela Jackson @AngelaJ

Today I welcome Angela Jackson back to the blog. Angela’s debut novel The Emergence of Judy Taylor was awarded the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award in 2013 and was chosen as Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year. In this guest post she explains how she is changing direction as she works on her second novel and a Edinburgh Fringe Festival show.

I’ll never get used to describing myself as a writer, but, just lately, I’ve been stretching that word to encompass something even scarier than the blank page. I’m writing a one-woman show, comprising three monologues; I’ll be performing all three parts.

When I tell people this, the most common response is they ask if I’ve done it before. And my answer is: Nope. Never. Nothing even close. 
It’s made me think how easy it is to stay in our respective lanes. 
I’ve finally written the second novel (The Darlings) and am working on edits with the incredible Sophy Dale, but I felt very strongly that I also wanted to do something else. I make no secret of my desire to write for television, and I’m working really hard on that, including scripting these three monologues. The huge, terrifying leap will be performing. So much could go wrong (I have a terrible memory, and I’m learning fifty minutes of material), but I’d have felt stifled had I just stuck to novel writing, even though I know how fortunate I am to be able to do that for a living.
I’m slap bang in the thick of the monologues now, organising props, lighting, filming, learning my lines. It’s all-consuming, and I have occasional moments of panic, but I’m so glad I didn’t stay in my lane. 
I’m writing this to encourage fellow writers to think beyond others’  expectations, to think beyond ‘should’ and stray into ‘could’. You don’t have to follow it through, of course, but there are so many avenues open to us as writers, we don’t need to confine ourselves to what others may perceive to be our lane. 
You can ask me about all this again after my run is finished and the reviews are in. I may have egg on my face, I may have a string of one star reviews or even a few four and five stars. Whatever. Right now, this feels fabulous.
Thanks for telling us about your new venture Angela and good luck with the show which I hope to come along to in August. The Darling Monologues  will be on at 8pm from 3rd to 11th August 2017 at Waterstones, Princes Street, Edinburgh. Keep an eye on the website for up to date information. 
Tickets are already available to buy from the Edinburgh Fringe website:

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