Friday, May 2, 2008

Blown Wide Open

It's really hard to just be open to possibilities. I'm not sure why that is. It probably has something to do with change, and not liking change, and that sort of thing. Some of it probably comes from being a perfectionist, in my case anyway.

But it's difficult to be open to trusting yourself and just letting whatever happens happen. But something has been blown wide open in All Shook Up. It started when the character, Abe, who I had previously mentioned, showed up. And now, two more characters have shown up. They are just shadows for me right now, but they are there, just waiting. I mean, they've been trying to have a baby for years and are searching for a baby they could adopt, so I am going to assume they're used to waiting. Pretty patient, those two. Or at least the husband is.

This is something I get to do more and more with my writing. I just trust in the process, trust in myself to go in the proper direction, even when it seems like I'm butting my head against a brick wall. But if i just hold on with enough tightness to stay with the play and don't strangle the life out of it because it's going in directions I never dreamt were possible, then I am all right.

There's a couple things I can think of specifically that have me addicted to being a writer. The first one is that 'a-ha!' moment where the warmth of realization that you are going in the right direction spreads through your chest. The writing then is loose and flowing like honey. And getting to that moment is wonderful. It makes slogging through the muck of bad writing days that much more tolerable (someone remind me of that when I complain about bad writing days).

The other thing is something that only happened to me once, and I hope it happens again. I was working on a short story (this was before I was a playwright--back in the stone ages of black hawk college!) and as I was writing a particularly emotional scene for both myself and the character i was writing about, I felt as though I had left my body and she had just taken over. I cried with her, I felt her anxiety and fear, and her relief that the situation had been fixed. And it was a scary wonderful rush of possession by a character that I don't think I've felt since. I might have in small doses, but nothing like that first time it happened. Crazy, eh?

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