Yesterday 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.
Published by Christa Avampato
The short of it:
Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day.
The long of it:
My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events.
While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series.
A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist.
I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media:
• I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference;
• I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable;
• I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me.
Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.
View all posts by Christa Avampato