Last year, I wrote seven new full-length plays: Dark Matter, Jacob’s House, Dream Walker, Deinde, Denny and Lila, What Is Outside, and The Hand That Moves (Dark Matter was mostly written by the end of 2010, but I’m counting things as I finish them). I wrote six short plays: Amen Abandon, Presents, The Refrigerator Hums, Where It Comes and Where It Goes, Symbolic Gestures, and The Midas Touch.
This represents my most productive output in a calendar year, but I’d like to do better in 2011. I think it’s possible for me to write a full-length play a month, and I’m hoping that committing publicly to it will make it more likely to happen. Additionally, I would like to write my first book in 2011.
That’s a lot of writing to get in done in a year where I am also getting married, producing a season, directing a play and working a full-time job. However, my life is only going to get busier, so now is the time to try something like this.
To those who might question such an emphasis on output, I can only say that I have well over twenty play ideas in my head that are nearly fully formed and desperate to be written, and that number continues to grow. While it may be wiser to focus on a single play over a longer period of time, I’m not interested in perfection; what interests me is telling the next story as best I can so it isn’t lost. Why I feel this loyalty to stories of uncertain worth is a question I don’t have the answer to, but the joy of it is justification enough for me for now.
I also find that the more I write, the better I write. Either that’s because writing really is a muscle that grows stronger with daily use; or that writing so many plays frees them from needing to be masterpieces, and allows them to flower each in their own unique way; probably both. I do know that a play as unusual for me as The Hand That Moves would not have been possible without the freedom created by the momentum of the others.
Also, I know that I find great inspiration in the persistence of other artists, particularly my friends; and maybe this attempt at my own public persistence will prove likewise valuable in itself.
I’ll be blogging about this attempt here rather than on the Flux blog for now, though I may switch over if this journal begins to feel like it belongs there instead of here. Encouraging comments are welcome.