Friday, August 1, 2008

unintended sabbatical

Whoa. I don't know how I forgot to post for a month and a half. That will happen sometimes, though.

I was going through a bit of a writing crisis. I haven't gone through a particularly terrible spell of not writing, of bad writing or anything like that in a long long time (thanks effexor xr for straightening out my brain chemistry!). But I was dealing with a couple plays in which continuing to work on the drafts just didn't yield any headway. And I was bummed about it. Seriously bummed.

I tried to just write through, because 99% of the time writing through the bad times while working on something definitely helps. This time it didn't.

So I had to put those plays away. It's not the first time I've had to do this, but you know. Sometimes it's harder than others.

And it's not like I don't know how these things work. I try to realize with grace what I need to do for my writing, because I'm getting to know what works and what doesn't. But sometimes even knowing what is right for your work doesn't mean you'll always do it.

So I banged my head against a wall metaphorically and then stopped.

I was bummed out a couple days because i couldn't write. This was the real problem. It wasn't so much that the characters were all flat and sounding the same, the plot was aimless or anything like that. Those things will work themselves out eventually. The problem was that I wasn't writing during these times.

And I put a lot of pressure on myself to be producing constantly. And maybe I shouldn't put that much pressure on myself about it.

Let's put it this way. I think I needed to cultivate a writing habit where i needed to do it everyday or something isn't right. And I think i did a good job cultivating that habit.

But part of the problem with being the perfectionist I am is that when I'm not writing for whatever reason (usually because when I have time to do it and i don't for whatever reason) I get mad at myself and that starts this cycle of not writing because I'm completely anorexic, writingly. So you know, that's REAL helpful.

So, as I try to adapt my writing life to a more buddhist moderation approach, it happens that I am going to have times where I don't write. Not just because I have to work until 7:30 and then turn around and work at 5:15 the next morning. Not just because i have cleaning to do and a kitten to play with and because I'm tired. But because doing the act of writing means that there is going to be an opposite of the act of not-writing. There's always two sides to it. And I think I need to remember that and not be so harsh with myself when I don't write. It's not laziness or general depression or anything like that anymore. It's because maybe I just need to let the writing doing writing in my subconscious.

That being said, I set those plays aside and have been heavily working on another play this whole past two months. And it's definitely shaped up better than it was, but it's getting to the point where i need to let it rest because it needs to cultivate.

In September I will break those other plays out and see if I get a breakthrough or not.

In September, I will be attending the rehearsals and reading for 'Hauntings; back in my home town. I am very excited, yet very nervous about it. It's the most personal thing I've written and it's about my mother and it's going to be performed in her town as well. I just hope it's something like a real play. It would be nice for it to be. I will be writing to the director some notes behind the play. I'll post them here as well, so you can get an insight into the work.

so i'm back, look out!

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