I haven’t really written in three months. That may not sound like an earth shattering revelation. Lots of people don’t write for long stretches of time.
But there’s the pesky element of being a ‘writer’ who depends on the ‘writing’ to pay for stupid things like, I don’t know, the ‘mortgage.’
It’s been a busy fall. There hasn’t been many seconds strung together where writing could have taken place. As you’ve seen if you’ve been following the Theatrefolk Blog, intrepid adventurers Craig Mason and myself have been on a whirlwind conference extravaganza. A different city, a different conference, every weekend. It’s been intense. Too intense. Travel has made us bone weary.
You’ll notice that the blogs start out involved and have become, well, less involved. I’ve even forgotten to say anything about Colorado Thespians….
I went to Colorado Thespians. There were a lot of Thespians there. I turned 38. Happy Birthday to me.
The thing I really noticed about all of the travelling (aside from my skin turning into sandpaper. And being bone tired. Did I mention the bone tired part?) was that thinking was a luxury. It was almost impossible to string thoughts together. Ordinary thought was hard enough, (what time is it, what time is our flight, How much is 2 plus 2) the extra special thought that is necessary for writing was right out the window.
At first, I was so busy that it didn’t even occur to me that I wasn’t writing. And I write all the time. I love carrying around a note book with me. Then when I realized I wasn’t writing, I tried to force myself to write. That was like forcing a donkey through an oil slick. Not going to happen. My notebook was a weight. A blank wordless weight.
Not writing, is somewhat upsetting for a writer. Makes us cranky and teeter on the verge of despair. Despair plus weariness equals nasty things.
Thankfully, by that point the conference season was almost at an end. And I actually got a full week at home. And then another. And when I was on my way to Colorado, I actually pulled my notebook out of my purse and started jotting down ideas. That came of their own free will.
She’s thinking again! Ahhhhhhwhaaaaaa (heavens open, doves scatter, stars shine, children laugh)
Then after Colorado I hooked up with fellow Theatrefolk writer Allison Williams for a three day writers retreat. We do this twice a year. Usually I go to her big ole house, but she hadn’t seen my small new house so we gathered in Crystal Beach. And sat. For three days. Writing. Glorious, quiet, peaceful, thoughtful writing.
On the retreats I often move from project to project to project. But I was in a fragile thinking state of mind. So it was one project. One play. There were treacherous moments. Some tragedies. Character stepping forward, others stepping back. A whole change in structure. But all in all work well done. I was on the right track and it felt so good.
And today I brought that play right into the station! (I’m so happy to be thinking again, I’m way overdoing the metaphors. Sorry.) A completed first draft. It’s not finished. Far from that. It’s not perfect. Far from that too. But it’s a completed project and it’s been a while since I held one of those between my fingers. Lovely, lovely first draft.
I now finish this post by doing the First Draft Dance of Glee. Of which there is no video. Thankfully.