Playwriting

Always be Ready

There really is no one way to write. Nor is there one way to be inspired to write. I know that some writers want some guide, a book, a formula to follow. A one way. The only formula is always be ready to write, always be ready to inspired. I think I never run out of ideas because I’m always ready to write down any scrap that floats my way. Obsessively so. I get fidgety if I have to carry a bag that won’t fit a notebook or if I go out penless. I want to be ready to respond when my brain goes “ding!” after hearing or seeing, or thinking some notion. It may be a play, it may not. Doesn’t matter. Never judging that floating scrap is key and writing it down is the key. I have to write things down because my brain is a sieve.

One time, I wrote a note on a band-aid because that’s all I had. Last week Craig and I went to the movies and right in the middle some dialogue “inspired” me for a scene in something I’m working on. I literally had to repeat this (two circles. Hi. Hi.) in my head for the rest of the movie and then write it down as soon as we got home. I was listening to a pod cast about Stephen Sondheim where they were talking about fugues being based on four notes. My brain went ding, my notebook came out and I wrote down. Fugue. Four words. What am I doing with that? I have no idea. Doesn’t matter. No judging! Just write it down.

I find most often that inspiration is most frothy when I’m intensely working on something else. Maybe it’s because I’m in writing mode, and I’m in uber ready write mode. Maybe it’s because I’m avoiding re-writes. I wrote two one acts this year smack in the middle of doing a workshop on a separate play. Which, yay, new work, but when inspiration intervenes it can be annoying. I have to write it down. How sad for me, I know. She’s over inspired. Poo, poo.

So, if you’re waiting around to be inspired and nothing’s coming are you really ready? Are you listening to the ringing in your brain? Are you writing down everything regardless of whether it may work or not? Do you let inspiration barge in when you’re doing something else?

About the author

Lindsay Price

2 Comments

  • You are so right.  And this is the rush and joy of inspiration.  I once used the paper plate I had just eaten off of to write down some ideas that spraked between the pasta and jello salads.  It is like trick-or-treating or a big colorful egg hunt.