There are re-writes all around me.

I am a rewriter. I rewrite a number of times. Imaginative richness is born in rewriting. Bernard Malamud

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I say it in every writing workshop I teach. No play is perfect on the first draft. There is always a better answer to a question, always a way to further define characters, always a more efficient way to show the story.

I am in the middle of re-writes. And I’m trying to find solace in Bernard Malamud’s quote. That I am mining Imaginative richness. In general, I guess that’s the case, I am doing my damndest to shape with wonder. I love the idea and the themes I’m exploring. I want more than OK or good enough.

But it’s hard not to get sucked down in the spinning vortex of one question answered, seven come up. One question answered, seven come up. Figure out one thread, unravel four more. The end never gets any closer and I need to get to the end. I’ve been circling the wagons for two weeks and I’m STILL one step forward two back. And then I start to question myself – am I working the life out of this? Am I doing more damage than good? What if I took something good out?

Turning and spinning, spinning and turning. It makes me dizzy and nauseous. And I’m starting to not like the play. That’s not good. Right now it’s not a problem. But if my dislike grows, that would be bad. What if other people don’t like it? Grr.

There’s some time to step back and rest my eyes from the suck pool. But not a lot. So, what to do? Deep breaths. Focus. Keep on working. Keep my balance….and… try…. not to throw up……

About the author

Lindsay Price


  • Hrmmm. Maybe it would help to take a break from this particular play? Work on a 10 minute piece or something else to cleanse your palate a little and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Does that ever work for you?

  • And so I did! Yes, I take breaks all the time when frustrated. This particular script has a deadline, so I was trying to push through. I have a clear vision of the script, so it’s been extra frustrating to not have an easier path to the end.

    But I gave up the ghost yesterday went and worked on something else. Today when I went back to it, things have been moving smoothly. Phew!