All posts by Jennifer Bobiwash


I am at a loss.  Still.  I want to write and I do.  I write something everyday.  Now I just need to pull it together for a cohesive piece, but then I find another reference, or another article that I add fuel to my writing and I can’t put it out there.  

I am searching for the secret, so if you know, please share it will me?  How do you give zero f*cks? I can say all day long that I don’t care what people think and that I am writing my truth, but something  hides in the shadows just waiting for me I know.  Someone there to have the conversations I am dying to have but…procrastination.  My house is so clean because of this.  If only I could channel it.

“You know you are getting old when it takes too much effort to procrastinate.” — Source unknown

I have started once again doing writing prompts.  Which at the time when I choose the prompt I don’t think it will be helpful but as soon as I start the timer my mind is drawn into my play and I am filled with some sense of accomplishment.

Taking a 5-10 minutes clearing my head is hard.  Sitting still.  Needing to do something, anything else than sit here.  What’s better for me, to get my writing done is to lead the meditation.  That way I’m always thinking of what I’m going to say next, which I know is not what I supposed to do, but I’m trying.  The random prompt then leads to dialogue.  The time limit making me choose my words quickly and not overthinking it.  Just write.  Get something on the page. Don’t go back and edit.  Just write the next sentence.   What makes it worst, I have a book with 400 writing prompts, yet I insist on searching online everytime I need to find a prompt.

What else is productive for me is to take a class.  During this time there have been so many opportunities to take classes from all around the country.  I’ve written 2 short plays already.  Way more than I think I’ve done before. EVER.  I mean in a week’s time.  But now I am procrasting on deadlines to submit a full length play and I’ve turned to reading a book about playwrighting.  You know, just so I can get it right.  I think I’m getting good at this procrastination.

I hope you are writing.  I’m trying.  Keep at it.


Extroverted Introvert?

Where has the time gone? In March I was poised, full of energy chomping at the bit to write a post, with a week’s worth of ideas and thoughts and here it is the weekend and my time is almost done.  I am always at a loss of what to share and what to write about playwrighting.  But this go round, I have so much to say I can’t contain it and it is coming out in bits and pieces.

I never really thought much of the difference of Introverts and Extroverts, thinking of it as if it were some placebo affect that I was feeling and acting upon.  I didn’t want to read of what an Introvert was because then, of course I would think I was.  And I really never thought of myself as an Extrovert, but could certainly embody some of the characteristics should the occasion present itself.  But with the world closing its doors and forcing people inside the definitions came screaming out.  People needed an outlet to share their energy and ease their anxiety.  I could clearly see the defining line in people and myself and how we are dealing with it all. 

Depending on the class I’m in, I wonder how this would be different if it were in person. Does it change the dynamic of the class because we can see each others faces as opposed to sitting in classroom style. Do people hesitate to talk and be the first to talk because they are truly an introvert, or are they just feeling the effects of quarantine.

I hesitate to share my joy of writing as I know of others who have be stymied by this time.  The weight of the world on our shoulders and anxiety of it creeping in.  For me writing during this time has been marvelous.  I have always been a stickler for rules and following how-tos, so the mechanics of playwrighting always hampered me.  I am thankful for the teachers out there who reached out and shared their classes I would not have otherwise been able to attend.  The joy of sitting at home in L.A. and attending a class in NYC with far-away friends was freeing.  Being able to connect with people outside of my sphere and being able to explore writing has been a treat. So much so that I have written two short plays.  I found the joy and laughter again of why I want to write.  Tips and tricks to get past the rules of structure I suffered with and to just sit down and write.  A mantra I try to repeat to myself as a quiet motivation and just now realizing the flippantness of the statement.  

I am wondering if I am an Extrovert because of all the classes I’ve been taking and all of the participating I have been doing. My head is full of information and my computer holds bits and pieces from a variety of classes. My notebook, that I usually carry with me and takes months to fill, has only a few blank pages left. Full up from a month of opportunity and ideas and unfinished scenes.  

Lessons learned during this time:

Set aside 15 minutes to write and do it daily. Consistency helps.

If you’re looking for something to write about – think “what am I curious about?”

Think of the intention of every scene. What do your character(s) need?

What is the action of your scene? Your character needs something from the other.

Now when I get lost in the weeds, I just start out with a random line that I’ve collected from the books I read.  I usually write these sentences down because as I’m reading them a voice is commenting on them in my head and they speak to the subjects of my current writings.  As I write the scene I consider what do the characters want to get to the end of the scene.  The plays that I have finished during this time had constraints that had to be included in the play, which made it fun and I included things that made me giggle, like lines from 80s movies.

I gotta go. I have to finish some homework for class and I’m entering another #Bakeoff and it’s due tomorrow.  

Take care of you. 


it’s storytime

ICYMI, the Academy Awards were last Sunday and all week I have been seeing post after post about Taika Waititi and quotes from his speech. 

“I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories,” Waititi said in his acceptance speech. “We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well.”

A well deserved reactions considering how long we have been telling our stories.  

Storytelling is part of who we are, regardless of indigeniety.  Every culture, race and ethnic group has some kind of tie to it.  Otherwise how would we, today have a link to our past.  Sometimes, we live so deeply in these stories they consume us.  Once just a tale to pass the longs and nights and to entertain, we now believe wholeheartedly in them.  We give them power and when someone tries to disprove the story; we fight for it and cling to it like bubblegum stuck to your shoe on a hot summer day.

As a child, my father ran the summer camp program, where we he would take the group camping for a night.  Although not that deep into the woods, yet a good 20 minutes outside of town, we would camp next to the rapids.  At night while roasting smores, dad would spin yarns that still make me think twice before I jump into a lake. 

Growing up I never considered the history of my people’s stories, I have never really thought of where they come from, or who they come from, until now.  I remember my dad telling stories around the campfire during summer camp.  Sitting around the fire, roasting smores, while he told of water monsters and things that live in the woods.  Which as a kid that was afraid of the dark and hated bugs did not bode well.  My favourite was of the a creature that lived in the water and always made me pause before I jumped off the high rock into the water.  

It wasn’t until I started writing that my dad told me we come from storytellers, that was who our family was an I am finally coming home by writing. In telling stories, I am torn.  By myth, tradition and technology.  I live in social media, not realizing that these snippets of life give a glimpse into stories, made to look pretty with filters and the right angle,  cultivating, creating a new story, a myth so we can carry on with the day.

As I look back to this story my dad would tell and I remember, I wonder the true meaning of it is as it most likely been re-told and distorted through time by the lens of the teller.

Jennifer Bobiwash


I have been trying to write this blog post for the past week. I have started and stopped, trying to wrap my head around the subject. Talking to other people and reading things online has made me talk in circles to the extent I don’t know anymore.

What am I talking about? Writing about diversity.

I still consider myself new to playwriting regardless of the number of plays I have written and I overthink everything. When you’re writing your show, you’re thinking about the characters and who they are, how they sound, look and move in the world. At some point you have to write the character description. You know, that page right after the title page where you introduce the reader to your world.

The character breakdown:

Amy: Female, 30s, African-American, Grounded and stern.

Josh: Male, South Asian, Middle Eastern male, extremely handsome, winning smile.

Steve: 20 to 30 years old, all ethnicities.

Each of these tells about how you envision your play.  The character name, age or age range, ethnicity and some telling trait. As brief or detailed as you want.

But, recently with an increase in the need for diversity, sometimes an ethnicity or age is added to just add diversity with no thought to the actual story.

This in turn, leads to me to thinking who can play what. And for me, my plays are about American Indians and just writing my character description has become a thoughtful exercise. 

In 2015 Howl Round had a week long takeover by Native voices on the American stage deemed #InsteadofRedface.  A collection of American Indian voices as they share their experiences in (North) American theatremaking.

But what does it mean? #InsteadOfRedface? Are the playwrights the only ones who have to be Native? Does your cast have to include Native characters as well? If it’s done in a theater class is ok to cast whomever? And is Native not enough? Do we include Indigenous people as well and is it ok for them to play Native roles?  And do all the roles have to be actually be played by Native people? And how Native do they have to be? Like I just took a DNA test and I’m 5% Native, so I can play Native roles now ok?

So many questions.

I’ll keep thinking on this…

But you should keep writing!

Happy Writing! Jennifer

People need people…?

Do we? Do we really need others?

I think I have always been a writer. From the angsty teen poems that I would submit to the slew of teen magazine without a second thought to the angsty adult ruminations that will never see the light of day. I started writing years ago when a friend wanted to write a play. We called ourselves “writing partners” and met once a week for hours at a time. We sat around the dining room table discussing our latest thoughts for the week, then would set the timer and just write. I miss that. I miss the accountability of sitting with a someone, anyone and writing. I don’t really have to share my work, I just want a place to write with others, and no going to a local coffee shop where other aspiring writers are working doesn’t count. I want the possibility of being able to discuss a thought and I don’t think that would go over well in Starbucks.

My writing partner moved away, yet we still meet once a week via Skype. We catch up on our week, then set a timer and write. Having someone to write with is a gift. Sometimes I just need to say things out loud, to a person, so I am not losing my mind. The person doesn’t necessarily have to respond, because sometimes at these moments, my thoughts are like fragile pieces of glass that will break with the slightest breeze, yet I say them all the same. I guess I’m not that afraid to share. Sorry for that, I just had a moment of clarity while I was typing. If you’ve read my other posts, you get it. But if I can say things out loud to someone who actually supports me without worrying what they have to say, why should it stop my writing. Yeah! Heck yeah. Sorry again, more epiphanies of courage.

You see my writing partner is a long time friend, but we share differing opinions, and sometimes I feel my opinions may hurt her feelings, so I don’t say them. But when I do share them, yes I sometimes regret them because my thoughts…whoa, that’s another post, we have a deep thoughtful conversation about it and it helps round out my opinion, even if at the end of it we don’t agree.

So verdict in. I need a writing partner. Or even a writing group. I need a place of accountability every week, aside from checking in with my local barista. So if you know of one, please share!

Happy Writing! Jennifer

Day 4 of everything

Well, maybe those serene views and walks and this blog have been helping me. I am at Day 4 of writing, as well as Day 4 for of my 90-day playwriting. I decided to re-visit the book, as I will soon be without internet (heaven forbid) and what will I do with all my spare time. I mean aside from perform, which I was hired to do on this wild and crazy trip, what should I be doing? Also, after much pondering, and let’s face it, procrastinating, I really want to write. I have stories I want to share. I’m sure if you’ve read my other posts, somewhere along the way I have said that I am afraid of the comments. Ooops, and if I didn’t, cats outta the bag now. You know the conversations that happen, hopefully after your show, and not during intermission while people are walking out wondering “what the heck” that was and how they lost their mind wanting to come and see new work. “No, no honey, let’s stick to the classics, I don’t understand the crap some people write.”

Back to the beach….

Ok, peaceful moment taken. I’m back.

I just have to keep reminding myself that people don’t really care. Sorry if that’s a shock to you, but I think on some level it’s true. Let’s take my one-person show. I wrote what turned out to be a very personal story, something I had not intended, about my life, sprinkled with some truth and some fiction, but nonetheless as it was being performed I realized “Holy heck, people are going to think this is how I think, that I did this that or the other thing…etc. And lets face it, it was too late at that point. But for all the worrying I did about what people were going to say and not agree with me, all the thoughts I had put in my head, none of it happened. Ok, it may have happened but no one talked to me about it, so it didn’t happen. I was ready for the conversations I had imagined my work would provoke and nada, zip, zero, zilch. What did happen was a pleasant conversation with a lovely elderly couple who identified with my 8-year old character. Something totally unexpected! So, see. It wasn’t about me, or even the story I had imagined I was telling. This couple spoke of how this little 8-year old girl made them feel. And in my head she was talking about her culture, her loss of it, her finding it, and how she identified in the world as a NATIVE person. Yet this couple was non-Native and saw themselves in her. I try to prepare myself for conversations that I am trying to ellicit from the audience with my work. I think of both sides of the argument so as to have a well rounded view and informed opinion, but the conversations and comments I imagined never happen.

People are going to come into your show with whatever baggage has happened to them that day and they’re going to watch your show and put whatever their worldview is on it and their ain’t a damn thing you can do about it.

So just take a breath. Clear your mind of worry, and write. That’s what I’m going to try to do. ON TO DAY 5!

I wish you happy writing!


Checking in

Ok. So it’s now the end of March. It has been roughly 60+ days since my last post and my grand ambitions of 2019 goals. I just looked at my last post Moving On and I am taking a moment to review my list. Truth be told, it’s a list I had forgotten I made. You see, I have been here


since my last post. How can you get anything done when this is your view? I am still here, working on a new project and I was reviewing my note book, where I put my January Goals. Yup, my 2019 plan was to write down monthly goals to keep me on task. But as I turned the pages, I found no February or March goals. Oops. I have written a few things. Daily musings of life on the road but no finished play like I had hoped. The 90-day play book I had started, still on day 3, the daily writing I wanted to do, of anything, non-existent.

But with this new project, came encouragement from the playwright in the form of a blank journal. I had just been shopping for a new notebook and here one presented itself. The perfect size, 6×8 lined and stapled. The notebook I had brought with me, found at the Dollar Tree I think, is falling apart. This one is ready for a new adventure. So, yesterday while taking my daily walk on the above mentioned beach, listening to a podcast and running lines, thoughts and stories running through my head, I pulled out my shiny new notebook, found a relatively dry log on the edge of the sand and started writing. Day 1 done and in the books.

How has the first quarter of 2019 been treating you? Hopefully better than mine. But I would love to hear how it’s going. Inspiration. Motivation.

I wish you happy writing!


We interrupt…

Ok. New Idea. Sort of. But where do I start. How do I start? What do I write? What kind of play is it going to be? How many characters should I have? When is enough? Ok, deep breath, step back, take a minute, take off the perfection hat and start writing. More deep breaths, panic has set in. I don’t know what I’m doing….


We interrupt this blog post for a tiny meltdown. Please enjoy this calming landscape, while we collect ourselves.

Sandy Beach, AK

Ok. It’s just me, trying to keep writing. J.

Moving on

We are 20 days in to the new year and hopefully you are keeping up with the list of goals you planned for 2019. But if you’re like me you have made abstract plans and you are 20 days behind in your daily writing practise do not lose faith. Do not fret or worry. Just move on. I know what you’re saying, “But Jenn, you don’t know what it’s like….” Please, I am all too familiar with yet another Monday re-boot. (If my plans or goals fall short, I say to myself, we’ll start a new on Monday). We have to be encouraging to ourselves, but we must also examine what is holding us back and why we cannot move forward. I started this year by making goals for one month at a time, with an overall goal for the year. Just one play. That’s it. I just want to complete one play tip to tail. It doesn’t have to be workshopped, or even read by other people, I just want to finish a full length play. Then I’ll worry later about submitting it, or having people read, but first it has to be written.

Things that will help me further my goal:

  1. Setting a deadline.
  2. Sitting down to write, no matter how bad it is. I just need a first draft right now. Writing everyday, even if it’s crap. I need to create a habit of sitting down and writing.
  3. Not getting down when I hit a stumbling block. Just keep writing.
  4. Having someone to talk to about my show. For me I don’t necessarily need feedback, I just need to say my thoughts outloud to another person instead of trying to run them in my head.
  5. Moving past resistance. This is where the gold is (or so they say, I have yet to move past it).
  6. Read more. Articles, books, short stories. Get out of my head.

I am collecting the bits and pieces of ideas I’ve had and seeing what magic I can make. Maybe an additional goal will be: Submit a play. Look for companies that host new work, my favourite, then it gives you an opportunity to re-work your show and see how people respond to it.

Did you set goals for this year? Leave a comment to share those goals. You know what they say about accountability…yeah, yeah, I know.

I wish you happy writing!

Still with me

Yup, I think I still have it since my last post, but on a much deeper level. I am not totally empty.

Writer’s Block? When I first started writing, I read a zillion articles on writing (instead of writing). I procrastinated in search of writing the perfect play, the perfect subject, the perfect setting…the perfect everything. The one article that stuck with me was touting how there is no such thing as writer’s block. While I was reading it I couldn’t imagine running out of ideas. How can you just stop writing. I have bits of pages with ideas from books, tv shows and conversation. I even find inspiring thoughts from social media workshops and conferences. My latest venture was to organize it all in the hopes of streamlining my writing. Grouping these bits of brilliance together to form something bigger.

But then it stopped.

The fountain of ideas running through my head just dried up. So I went through my notebooks and index cards in search of a reason to start writing. For further assistance I looked to “How to write a play in 90 days”. What could be better? Someone telling me how to write. I wouldn’t have to think about a thing, just let your fingers to the talking. The first four days went well, but then the holidays and all its magic happened and I stopped writing. When I returned to my 90-day notebook, the book suggests having two notebooks, one for your work, the other for your thoughts, I tried to continue at day 5, but I couldn’t. Even after re-reading the notes from the previous days, I couldn’t get back into it. So I did what anyone would do, I started something new. After a day of that I couldn’t get into that one either. Then I started to panic. Is this writer’s block? But there’s no such thing, so why is it happening to me? What else could it be? I am still struggling through a blank slate in my head. Ideas that popped like popcorn are now the unpopped kernels that don’t even warm up in the microwave and just end up being thrown away. Yes, dramatic I know. As I’m writing this, I am hoping my brain decides it want to continue writing stories.

I am once again starting on my looking at writing prompts in order to get the juices flowing. So I am setting aside 30-minutes a day to get this done. I chose 30-minutes, because that’s how long I have to keep my teeth whitening strips on, so it’s a two-fer.
With two weeks in to the new year, we’ll see how long this writing streak holds up!
What do you think about writer’s block and how do you move through it?

Happy writing!  Jennifer