So, I thought it was time to do a second round-up of my experience writing in 28 plays later. The reason is my last one was written after a week and it was still very new to me, now after three weeks I’ve turned slightly more bitter queen and jaded – hurrah!
Ok, so maybe that’s an overstatement, but everyone knows the beginning and the end are the best bits of most things and the middle can be a bit, well – shit? Don’t get me wrong I am so happy I chose to take part, I wouldn’t change that decision and if you are thinking about doing it next year I would, in fact encourage you to go for it. But before the haze of nostalgia hits, that is inevitable at the end of anything, were your mind seems to forget the less than ideal moments of the ‘journey’ lets get to the real talk round-up!
I have noticed the following things:
- There is no such thing as me time in this challenge, unless you count sleep, and you shouldn’t because you won’t be getting much of it. It is very demanding and it requires discipline, even when you don’t have any. If you want to stay in, you better bloody find some because, writing is like anything else it’s not always wonderful, it is at times (most times) heavily mediocre to soul destroyingly bad.
- Forget what you think, ‘A Play’ is, this is both a negative and a positive. When challenges come in that make no sense to you, or give you nothing in the way of inspiration, that’s when you are being challenged, it’s stressful but even if you are not happy with the end product, you still come away having pushed through your comfort level (win) experienced something beyond your personal ideas (win) and you have a clearer understanding of what your capable of (win) Anybody can write happily in a style they know, about a thing the are passionate about, the point of the curve ball is to make you move your feet off a rigid path. Obviously in pushing through comfort levels, you may stress eat, consider burning your laptop and yourself, bitch to everybody about how this is batshit crazy and inevitably still be writing at 3am, but if was comfortable… well you see where I’m going.
- It is draining! Emotionally crippling sometimes actually, I have said many times that if I wasn’t so pig-headed and stubborn I’d have said, ‘fuck it’ a while back. Thankfully being stubborn isn’t always a bad thing and it can get you through some pretty awful stuff. True story, when I was in secondary school, I was an excellent runner, I got signed up for sports day in track every year and I won. Not because I trained hard but because I refused to be beaten. I was actually asked to compete for my county, the idea lingered in my head for about thirty seconds, then I realised I had to train at weekends, that was the end of that!
- I have questioned myself so many times but eventually I started to answer back (wait, isn’t that the first sign of madness?) I started to get a better idea of myself through writing other people and exorcising my own demons through them. I realised I don’t care for glory over something, I care for my own satisfaction and growth. I also realised that I have spent so long wanting to be my own person, unique to me but at the same time desperately trying to fit in and be accepted. Paradoxical I know, like I said, I came to the conclusion of, ‘I don’t care’
- Your friends and family will think you are crazy, they will (hopefully) be supportive but they will think you are playing bridge without a full tool set.To be fair to them though, you will probably not look, or smell quite human.
- Closing my laptop at the end of the evening has become as satisfying to me as removing my bra. It’s a wonderful feeling to be ‘done’, for about two hours anyway.
- I have had ideas I never knew I was capable of, a lot of them should have stayed hidden, I joke (mostly) I remember time and again seeing a brief and thinking, ‘no way’ but I have submitted my play with hours to spare every time. When you force your brain out of its usual method, it takes a little while but you will form new neuro-pathways, it just takes a little longer (science!)
- You will hate everything, some of the time. You will love everything, some of the time. The rest of the time is pretty beige.
- Weekends have been horrible, this is when the extra tasking briefs come. Just when you think you can rest!
- It’s at times a feeling akin to walking through treacle for ten miles, you can’t finish until you start. You want to get to the end but the walk is laborious, sticky, frustrating and seemingly endless.
If you are interested in todays challenge, which was to write a play under the title, ‘Boundary Issues’ here it is 28 Plays Later: Challenge 20 (Boundary Issues) surprisingly, I found this one come to me quite naturally, no idea why…
If you take nothing else from this, please remember:
You can’t hope to be extraordinary and blend in.
Be kind to each other. be kind to yourselves, normal is a construct and you are beautiful.