Taking the new car out for a drive

It’s like that first ding in a new car.
It’s all shiny and perfect, those first few scenes of a new play. At least inside your head. Oh, the laughs it gets! How the characters jump off the page. What a clever girl I am.
And then you get that first ding, that hint of criticism. And the bloom is off the rose. The car just isn’t new again. And the play isn’t perfect.
I hate this part of writing – exposing pages that in your heart of hearts you KNOW has flaws. But you’re so in love with it, you can hardly wait to share it with others, confident they’ll love it as much as you do. But they don’t. They see the flaws you blind yourself to see. And they have the nerve to tell you.
I brought 30 fat pages of my newest play – a romantic comedy because I’m tired of writing “serious” plays – into my monthly writing group. (A note about this monthly approach: It’s hard to establish a rhythm when you only meet every month. I much prefer my weekly Skype writing partner for continuous feedback and a weekly deadline for pages.) I was the last to read. There was silence around the table. (I should have prepared questions I wanted the group to answer!) And then our fearless leader asked the question about the king’s clothes: what’s the play about? What’s at stake? Ouch.
It was enough to inspire me to walk the 2 ½ miles home. In the rain. And eat several Trader Joe’s dark chocolate sea salt caramels. And become fearful of even looking at the script again.
At least until today.
It’s still a good car, er, play. It’s just not perfect. But a little polish and TLC and it will still get me where I want to go.

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