Cally Phillips @ 2015
Can you ‘retire’ as a writer? Well, I’ve made a career of ‘retiring’ from various aspects of the ‘industry’ – usually when the ‘business’ takes precedence over the ‘creativity’ aspect. Professionally (by which I mean I earned my living this way) I started out as a screenwriter in 1993. I ‘retired’ in 2005 (no one has noticed yet!) I shifted to being a playwright but ‘retired’ from that in 2012 or was it 2011 or 2013? (again, no one noticed – well that’s not true, I was asked to do a workshop in 2014 and declined, pointing out I’d not written a ‘traditional’ play since 2005 ) I shifted focus from drama to fiction (though I’ve NEVER been ‘professional’ in the respect of earning a living from prose fiction in all the years I’ve done it as a ‘background’ activity) but I’ve decided to ‘retire’ from that as well. It’s all just too much about ‘success’ in terms of money and sales and I’m tired of that view of life.
That doesn’t mean I’m not writing any more. It just means I’m not making (or trying) to make money from it. My ‘identity’ is not tied up with that professional aspect.
I had already segued from screenwriter to producer of short films, from playwright to director to running a theatre company to advocacy drama facilitator and then from fiction writer to publisher… so the path has never really be career in the standard sense, more in sense of running wildly out of control into the distance… and now I’ve taken another step.
In 2014 I set up a literary society. Which is where most of my writing is done these days and where I essentially ‘hang out.’ And I’ve finally realised that actually this role is less about writing or publishing and more about cultural conservation and restoration. About which I’m sure I have plenty to write.
But the main thing is – this site is really now an archive one. My past, not my present and certainly not my future. So if you want to connect with me in the here and now I suggest you need to look for me at
www.gallowayraiders.co.uk which is where you’ll find me most active.
For those interested in my past – it’s here across a load of pages and posts. Nosey around at will. Here’s a quick thumbnail:
The writer formerly known as Cally Phillips wrote novels for HoAmPresst Publications, limited edition paperback and ebooks. She had over 20 years experience as a screenwriter and playwright.
She also also worked as a professional actor, a sales rep, theatre/cinema front of house, an English/Drama teacher, a private tutor, a script reader for Channel 4, Artistic Director for Bamboo Grove Theatre Company, Artistic Director/Facilitator for ABC Drama Group, Dramatist in residence for Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association, Playwright in Residence for West Lothian Youth Theatre, and a stint as Scottish Secretary for the Writers Guild of Great Britain.
Educationally she has an MA (Hons) e in Moral Philosophy with International Relations from St.Andrews University and an MSc in Applied Psychology of Intellectual Disability (Portsmouth) as well as a PG qualification in drama from Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, a PG Dip in Multimedia Design from Napier and an Open University Diploma in Health and Social Welfare.
Now retired from the hurly burly of the ‘creative industries’ Cally lives happily with her husband and dogs in North East Scotland – and also lives (less happily) with a chronic condition, Ulcerative Colitis which puts something of a limit on her ability to travel and engage fully with everyday society. Marry that with her other condition, self-imposed Hermititis and with an ever deepening cynicism about the perceived relationship between success and creativity in terms of profit and sales and you’ll see why she’s finally listened to the words of Paul Weller and ‘gone underground. ‘