24 hour switch

I have a confession… I haven’t written anything much lately.  I could (accurately) claim the busy-bee-nature of my calendar

has left me less than energized, but there’s a bit more to it than that; I just haven’t felt particularly inspired to actually make the writerly effort.

And I don’t mean “inspired” in the sense that I’m waiting for some hot-commodity-idea either.

(From my blog on Little Black Dress INK a week or two ago)

Writer’s Block… They should call it “Emotionally Disadvantaged Creative’s Block”.

There are countless essays and processes devoted to understanding and conquering the writer’s enemy, mostly involving baby steps of free-writing, calendering oneself, forcing it out like a stubborn turd, etc.  But I always thought these things were a crock – the reason we stop writing is because we’re harboring some deep fear or resentment – not because we’ve run out of ideas – and no amount of straining ourselves over the proverbial toilet is going to make them come out if the tunnel is plugged by baggage!

(I know, that’s a disgusting analogy)

But then, I haven’t written anything new in months (besides blog posts) so I had to ask myself, might I be stricken with a fog of literary stasis?  I mean, I’ve been really busy; I’ve been teaching and producing and directing and dating…

I have been doing any number of things besides writing…

(this is when my inner guru/muse/whatever it is within that is plugged more keenly into the source of things, lets me know that I am indeed hiding in the fog…)

Sigh

(and then I have to ask myself why….)

Double Sigh

But I think the answer is this:  I’m not writing because I’m afraid that whatever I’m working on still won’t be good enough to produce, and quite frankly I’m a little more than tired of all the back-patting and head-nodding and open readings leading to naught…

My demon it seems (the first in my history with the pen) is fear, chased by an ugly little thing called anger.

And it’s time I process it all, chew it up, and spit it out, and stop giving myself excuses.  I’ve collected seeds of anxiety and doubt and now they’ve spouted into a full blown emotional forest that needs cutting down.

Perhaps I can turn all that lumber into paper?

Then this past weekend I was invited to participate in a 24-hour play fest.  I’d never done one before, so I jumped in with a lot of willful trepidation and more than a little attitude (pointless as it is, attitude always makes us feel a little safer in the un-trod, doesn’t it?)

I was terrified – How was this going to work?  Was I going to be able to write a whole play (minimal page length be damned- would it have a beginning, middle and end?  Would it make sense?) in one evening?  Would my brain and The Muse be able to stand each other after so long apart and under the pressure of such short turnaround?

Turns out, the answer – just like my answer to the challenge – was “Yes!”

We gathered at 9 p.m., started writing at 11, and I had a 9 pager ready to hand over at 3:30 a.m.  I was exhausted, and I was seeing a little double, but by God, I crafted a funny enough piece to forgive it it’s whimsy, and the actors and directors who memorized and staged it in the morning/afternoon/evening did a great job and seemed to find it quirky and enjoyable enough that I could feel I had indeed done well.

And now I can’t get my little Muse to stop poking me, pushing me, demanding me to get back at the keys.

It seems that the “cure” was to just stop worrying about my attitude and the sheer overwhelming nature of my theatrical hopes, and just write already!

Now – if I can just get my calendar to listen, I’d be a much happier, even-busier-(but writing, damnit)-bee!

~Tiffany

2 Comments

  • By Nancy Beverly, October 18, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    Congrats on doing the 24-hour thing — glad it was just the ticket!

  • By Diane Grant, October 18, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    Tiffany,

    I loved this, particularly the Double Sigh – “I’ve collected seeds of anxiety and doubt and now they’ve spouted into a full blown emotional forest that needs cutting down,” – and the disgusting analogy.

    Diane

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