This week we’ve been working on new script proofs, which is one of the last steps toward publication. Two of the plays are mine, and we are thrilled to be publishing a new play of Christian Kiley’s (which we’ll reveal more about soon!)
As my scripts move through these final steps, they become less and less a part of my brain. It’s a strange process to go through when I consider how much space any play takes up in my head. The spider web of thoughts, words, ideas, characters and stories. Sometimes I can hardly concentrate on the life around me the webs are so thick and consuming. But when plays are ready to reach their final destination the webs become more and more brittle. The threads become thinner. The connection between myself and the text becomes tenuous and eventually snaps. Soon enough I’ll take the script off the shelf, flip through the pages and wonder how it is I ever wrote them in the first place.
Oh I’m aware how much that sounds like artsy fartsy mumbo jumbo. Sorry friends, that’s how it goes. Sigh.
The other thing that happens is I wonder if I’ll ever write another play ever again. Which is pretty bogus. I have forty thousand ideas floating around at any given time. And yes I did make that number up, but it’s pretty close. (copyright of previous sentence must be credited to Sam Brown, clown. SAM!) So I’m not really, really worried, but it’s one thing to have an idea, and it’s another to pluck one of those zooming sparks and turn it into an actual fire. Sparks do not equal plays.
Happens every time. Especially when I’ve been busy doing things other than writing. I’ll turn around and it’s been a week since I’ve written and then two. Every day that passes when I haven’t spent time writing is another day I wonder about those sparks. Is this the time they go out? That they fade into nothingness? Is this the end of my career as a writer? Is this a black hole staring back at me? What if I stare at the blank page, never able to write again? (insert echo here)
Yeah. More artsy fartsy mumbo jumbo. But wait there’s more!
This weekend one of my zooming sparks started to smoulder. And a character started speaking from the nothingness. No face yet, just words. And a title. And it started to gel with a new theatrical structure I’ve wanted to try. And I turned to a fresh page in one of my notebooks and started to write these fragments down. And one of the spiders in my brain rubs his little hands together and got to work on a new play.
Yes I know spiders don’t have hands. Yes I know I don’t REALLY have spiders in my brain. It’s all part of the mumbo jumbo. Can’t help it. And frankly, I don’t care. Cause you know what? I got me a next play when I didn’t have one before. I don’t know if it will build into something complete. I don’t know if this funky structure is going to work. But I can’t wait to see what kind of web comes out of this one.