Andy Naylor is a Welsh comedian/writer living in London. He has performed at two Edinburgh Festivals as part of a sketch group and as a stand up comedian, winning the Nicotinel new comedian of the year award in 2007. Devoting most of his twenties to comedy writing has seen him experience some amazing highs, some terrible lows and earn very little money!
A qualified journalist, Naylor is inspired by writers and comedians such as Irvine Welsh, Steve Coogan and Ricky Gervais. He enjoys putting it about on the five a side pitch, trying his hand at cooking and spending time with his girlfriend who is considerably more attractive than he is!
What are you writing now?
At the moment I am dividing my time equally between writing comedy sketches for my sketch group and feature style articles for a website. I find that the best method of writing both is to sit down and just tap it all out as fast as possible. I leave punctuation and any ideas of revision until I feel I’ve written everything I want down. I think I write in a fairly conversational style and this is both a help and a hindrance! Despite being a qualified English language teacher my grammar goes out of the window when I’m putting the ideas down!
What keeps you from writing?
Unfortunately the main thing that keeps me from writing is real life! As many would be writers find, as enjoyable as sitting down and writing is for me it doesn’t pay the bills yet. The last few weeks I’ve been unemployed and thought it would be a very fruitful time for writing. In some respects it has been but the nagging money worries at the back of my mind are never too far way. I think I’m at my most disciplined when I know money is coming in and I only have a short window to get work done. The comedy sketches can be delayed by the fear that an idea is always funny until it hits the paper. As soon as that happens it is open to judgement, rebuttal and ultimately failure! I take any rejection of comedy ideas quite personally and definitely have to work on this.
Website or blog that visitors can visit?
At the moment I’m writing for a website called palebluenews.co.uk and am in the process of building a site for my sketch group at naylorandgant.com.
Single aspect of writing that frustrates you?
I have always aspired to write a book and hope that one day this will be the case. At the moment though I enjoy the instant feedback and response I get to sketches and articles. I think I lack the necessary discipline needed to sit down and work on longer projects. I also tend to write about myself a lot and find this merges into characters I try to write. I admire anyone all writers who can create books that seemingly have no relation to their experiences or life. I find that level of imagination and inspiration staggering. Hopefully as I get less self involved and more mature I will be able to do this myself!
Who or what inspires you?
Real life stories and situations have always inspired me. I love to read Irvine Welsh as I can always picture exactly what he is writing about. I feel that he has lived and breathed these situations and that he knows exactly what his characters will do. Comedy wise, again I like to watch people. I love scrawling through facebook and looking at status updates. To my cynical mind, a bad day and a depressing status update can instantly create an idea for a scene or a character.
Do you have any support from friends, family a writers group?
I’ve often thought about joining a writers group but time is such a constraint for me that I worry it would be something else that would keep me from actually writing! I also find that by putting my sketches, articles, videos into the public domain now anyway I can receive feedback from varying sources rather than people just interested in writing. It has always amazed me to get praise from the unlikeliest of people as well as constructive criticism.
Where would you like your writing to go?
As my confidence builds from writing longer features, an obvious aim for me would be to write a book. I have ideas that I’ve been booting around for a while and wonder what it will actually take for me to start putting them down on paper. I would like to receive feedback and opinion from the widest circles possible. Only by constantly being subjected to this will I start to develop the tick skin needed to survive this game! For me to be able to live a semi comfortable lifestyle, purely from writing would be a dream come true.