The challenge (I find) is always to write….What? When? Where?.....and how much? And it’s that time of year again isn’t it? Where miraculously we seemingly, as a one, find the time to simultaneously reflect and project as we muse on days gone by, highlights of the past year and maybe some darker moments too, and optimistically visualize a future 12 months in which all our dreams come true….and maybe this year they will. After all, by the laws of probability one year really has got to be THE year, so why not this one?
Of the questions posed earlier, WHEN is by far the most pertinent one for me. Every year it’s the same as I make a personal pledge to write a minimum half an hour every day. Anything at all, as it’s not about content or quality or volume, but just the regularity, the practice, and the habit of it…..if I can crack that, then I’m sure everything else will duly follow. However, lo and behold, here we are nine days in and this is the first half hour of the year….oh dear…failed already. Still, tomorrow’s the day before two days from now, so today might be the day when it all began and didn’t come to a grinding halt….ever! I’ll keep you posted. So that’s what I preach, write every day, no matter what, it doesn’t matter, just do it, and I will continue to preach this maxim because I think it makes sense and I’m convinced it will yield plenty, if you truly commit. I’m going to experiment with the idea espoused by Dorothea Brande in her excellent book (thank you Uju for the recommendation) Becoming a Writer, in which she sets the task of writing for 15 minutes every day, but, you have to make an agreement with yourself, to set the time in advance, write it in your diary as it were like an appointment. You have to choose a different time each day and then under no circumstances, no matter where you are, or what you are doing, when that time comes along, you have to stop whatever it is you’re doing and honour the commitment you have made to write, right there and then. It’s only 15 minutes. I really like it….or at least the idea of it. She sets it as a challenge to see whether you really are a writer, because a real writer would have no problem honoring such a commitment…..hmm…..perhaps I’m not a real writer and I should just wake up and smell the disappointment. I’ll get back to you and let you know…perhaps….if I can find the time to write about it.
So don’t plot your play or map your storyline, but rather plot your week, diarise your writing time and keep it realistic, set achievable goals, 15 maybe 30 minutes a day, build it up slowly if you need to and trial it for a month, after all, its January, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do with January? Do whatever it is you’ve always dreamed about wanting to do, do it every day for a month, achieve a lifetime ambition and then give it up and forget about it until January comes round again next year. In the meantime, enjoy yourself, relax and live your life, creating highlights for you to reminisce about in the dark winter months when there’s nothing to do except sit around reminiscing and writing of course.
This has been a free (and easy) write. My first of the year. There will be more. More about the craft and techniques and how to apply them, the events we have planned, workshops, specialist meetings and courses and more about plays and making theatre, who, what, where, when and why we just can’t stop thinking, talking and writing about it.
A very happy new year to you all, from a very Euphoric Ink team, here’s hoping for plenty (of joy inspiring creativity) in 2020.