On the Matter of Subject…

I’d like to think that I am open to write about almost any subject matter.  The journey from a thought to choosing the angle to take and researching any unknowns is never the same with each piece I write – always fascinating but never the same.  What can be the same are the moments before I reach page four — those tense moments when I am feeling like a complete fraud and I’m kicking myself because I had the audacity to think I could write that story that way.  I have started a task and it seems daunting.  Those moments I get a little stuck on rewind and time constraints can make it worse.  There is nothing as intimidating as knowing that the play in your head is the one you need to submit and the deadline is nearing and you haven’t gotten to page four let alone gotten to the middle of page three.  Stopped, right at the top of the page, with an air bubble stuck between the period and the next line.  Those are “playwright quote times” which for some reason, reading blurbs about writing calms me down enough to allow my germinating time to finish up its odds and ends.  I tend to forget that I tell myself I will write two or three pages — just to get started — and then let it germinate a while longer before I really get into it.  I usually remember after I have calmed down.  When writing my last play, I remembered…then forgot…then remembered again.  I felt like I was stuck in that Groundhog Day movie.  I should probably paste a note on my mirror but I probably won’t read it because I’ll be busy trying to get to page four from the “first words.”  And, who knows, Groundhog Day might be a needed part of my germinating process from time to time.  I am so preoccupied with getting past page three that my subconscious is free to organize information and listen to the other voices – the ones with the secrets.  I must admit, I am most intrigued by the secret things…and the layers that cover them.  Traveling into the unknown to find out the “why” and “how” of it all, is worth it every time.  It is during these journeys that I truly find out what the subject matter really is…  By page four, I know from what depth the play is coming and whether or not the subject matter at hand is what I thought it was when I began the piece.  By the end of the first act, I will be able to write a brief outline for the rest of the play and gauge how long it will take to reach the end which may mean submitting it the next year.  I used to think “next year” was so far away but there is so much to do in between now and then, it turns out to be just around the corner…

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