GIRLS IN THE GUTTER – reflections on radical independence

GIRLS IN THE GUTTER (WITH BELLIES FULL OF STARS) is a collection of short stories I’m writing about girls who street sleep.

Street sleeping happens for lots of reasons (not all of them poverty) and I thought the best way to delve in was to collage some stories. I start with the night I decided to sleep on a bench.

A bit like my play, SISTERS OF THE MIDNIGHT BERRIES, rarely do we see outsiderships affect on women. I’m lucky the team at Salford Arts Centre take risks. I’m blessed I get to write what I do, how I do.

You see, wider industry likes women and girls “we can identify with” so projects will “draw audience” which is fair enough. The creative industries (film/tv/publishing/visual arts/etc) are industries. They’re subject to the same capitalist demands as any other job. Plus workers in capitalist structures must make money or starve. It is what it is.

For me, I want to tell stories reflecting individuals, not demographics. I’m interested in wild eccentrics, radical nobodies, and women of no significance and they don’t “draw audience.” I’m not complaining: I’m autistic, so just explaining what I see from my vantage point. If I want to record these lives, to say unusual people woz ere, I’ll have to do that outside the creative industries.

And I’m very happy to do that too. There’s a place for mainstream stories AND a place for these stories. That’s a good thing, not an awful thing. It’s also creatively liberating knowing the difference. I don’t know why more writers don’t go this route… I have my theories, but who cares right?!

It’s none of my business (literally).