creative, creative process, creativity, play, theatre, time, writing

Beautiful: There Is No Time Like the Present

0b458c7c03370c2046f32e8f87edfa96Yesterday I took a playwriting class. I started my career in theatre management so it’s a genre that I worked in and around for many years. I’d like to get back to it, but in a different way this time. I’m not sure if that means as a writer so I thought I would take this opportunity to explore the option. Also, I have a story I’d like to tell and as much as I tried to put it into narrative form, it’s meant to be seen as well as heard.

There were a lot of nuggets of knowledge in the class. I learned about dramatic structure, character development, story arc, and the role of timing. It gave me enough to get started. And that was perhaps the most valuable piece of insight.

Our instructor urged us to get going and finish as soon as possible. Dump a first draft out on the page in a month, 2 months tops. Don’t worry if it’s messy, disjointed, and rough around all of its edges. Just…get…it….out before it looses steam, before you get too scared to have the story you need to tell stare back at you. This is a time to be hasty, as hasty as humanly possible.

What’s true for playwriting is also true for so many projects in life. I firmly believe that we hold ourselves back far too often. We become so intentional, so purposeful that we lose sight of the joy found in spontaneity. We worry too much about failure, and when we’re done with that we worry too much about success. We have all kinds of reasons for not doing something we really want to do – most of them are rubbish.

There will be time to refine, time to tweak and fix and finesse. But that time is not at the start of trying something new, it’s not at the beginning of the beginning. As hard as it may be, put your perfectionism aside. Calm your mind by reminding yourself that no one has to see your first draft of anything. You don’t even need to tell anyone you’re creating a first at all. Just begin. Start. Try. Play. Make a mess. Now. There is no time like the present.

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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