Sunday, July 27, 2008

Watching the slopes out the window

If you like dividing the self up (a la "Herman's Head") into distinct, humorous parts, then I ask you to visualize this: My writing part has been sitting in a ski lodge, his foot in a cast, sipping brandy the past two months. Yes, it's a been a "writer's vacation" of sorts. I did squeeze out the first draft of a new play last month, but when I faced draft No. 2 -- and the assembly line system I used for the last play -- I blanched and cried "uncle." I guess I hadn't recovered fully from that grueling June to June stretch run.

I have a dream of completing one play a year from age 30 to 40. I am 31, and I have two to my credit. One extra month off, I reasoned, won't kill me. I think I was trying to do a mid-/late-period-style revision off the bat, and that was too much to ask. With the past two plays, I rewrote the whole thing for drafts 1-4ish, which lent some freshness and a more relaxed feel to the proceedings. I then buckled down for 5-10 (11). It's my goal to go a little easier on myself this time around. Maybe I can wrap the play up in 8 drafts. I think that's a good number to shoot for.

Perhaps I've said too much about my process, which is either an amateurish or gauche move. I don't really care. I just received a very nice "thanks, but no thanks" from a local theater I had some shot of getting produced by. And you know what? That's all right. I know my time will come. Frankly -- at least based on how I feel right now -- I'd rather people leave me alone so I can work, relax and spend time with Erika and the baby, who'll be joining us this winter. Rehearsals, auditions and rewrites sound like a huge hassle. For once, I'm not straining for recognition. I want to be left alone. And I might actually start to enjoy my writing more for what it is: an enriching creative pursuit. Beyond that, who cares?

Pour another cup of hot chocolate for that writing part and turn on SportsCenter. It's earned the R&R.

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