Playwriting

Day 26, 27 and 28. And 29. And 30.

So a funny thing happelindsay smiles with penned on the way to the end of this month…..

This month of writing had quite a different tone than when I did this last year. Last year I had more activities outside the office, so it was – I’m not going to say easier, but I am going to say easier, to take my work on the road. This year, I had more in-house tasks, which I loved doing but did get in the way of writing.

I also only worked on one project this year – last year I was writing like crazy on a bunch of different things. Some might not consider 30 different plays ONE project but it was. Last year there was a goal of ‘let’s write!’ This year was a goal of ‘let’s get this done!’

The first three weeks of November everything ran tickety-boo. I was able to get through first and second drafts of 10 short plays for two girls, 5 for two guys, 5 one girl/one guy and then…..I got to the group plays. And these plays just weren’t clicking. They weren’t evolving past the first draft. I was never stuck, I just wasn’t loving what was on the page. I was always moving forward, but I had to ask myself: Was I only moving forward for the sake of forward motion? Were these scripts going to be usable? What was the purpose of this 30 days of writing and was I writing effectively. It’s all well and good to write for 30 days, but because I was working on one project, and had one goal, I had to be focused on that project and make sure I was writing toward that goal. I had to make a decision. What was more important – the project, writing the best plays, or writing every day?

Craig and I had a meeting – I have to tell you it’s one of the best things about being a small company. There’s no red tape when it comes to changing direction with a project. I look up from my computer and say ‘I need to have a meeting about the ten minute play collection.’ Craig looks up from his computer and says ‘Ok.’ Then we go to Tim’s. No red tape.

The first thing we decided was that the plays didn’t have to be in two big books. I was very goal centric toward two books, two this, two that. Why not have four smaller books, that are published throughout the year? If that’s the case, the plays that are ready can go out into the world. If that’s the case, I can spend the extra time working on the group scenes, or write new ones. Which is probably what I’ll do. But with this new publication scenario I have a lot more time.

And so I’ve decided to stop on the project. I’m not going to finish those group scenes by the end of the month. I didn’t stop writing, I just moved on to something else for Thursday and Friday. And I don’t think I’m going to write over the weekend. Mostly because, it’s my birthday weekend! II’m going wine tasting, and five guy burger eating, and shoe shopping. I could write. I could keep the project going, even if it’s with another play. But it’s all about priorities isn’t it?

Sometimes, you have to walk away from the table and be happy with what you’ve accomplished. Sometimes it’s better to celebrate what you have instead of scramble to push something through, just to say it’s been done. To be honest, I’m downright ecstatic over what I’ve accomplished this month. I’ve got a whole bunch of material to workshop in February when I go down to Florida. I picked out scenes for a new Middle School scene book. I edited two proofs for new publications. I applied for a grant and to be in a Talent Bank. And I wrote a lot! I did good.

So I’m bowing out a little early in this 30 days of writing project. And when I’m out celebrating I promise I’ll think about writing. Who am I kidding, I’m always thinking about writing….

About the author

Lindsay Price