Like most writers, I read a lot. Like most theater folk, when friends or colleagues are involved in productions, workshops, readings, I attend in their support. As a journalist in the blogosphere, I read blogs, particularly the ones that arrive at my designated folder daily.
One of the blogs I read is Martha McPhee’s Notes from Martha. She’s a novelist and journalist whom I met when I sublet her apartment some years ago. Today’s post was inspirational.
I’m a fairly new writer, I’ll hit the 5-year mark near the end of this summer. I’d always written long long letters, journals, eventually technical work at LANL, but never had anything of my own to say. Until I did. Now, I have a fodder file of more than 700 ideas, everything from simple sentences to mash-ups to already-begun research. I become stymied by the vastness of what interests me, and when I have time to begin something, often spend it perusing, musing, rather than writing.
Feeling guilty about that.
Until I read Martha today. She tells of a family trip taken when she was three years old, all well and good, and then quotes an email about that trip received from her father, coincidentally sent as she was writing her blog post.
Only there are no coincidences. I digress (as usual), and if you’ve digressed as well, clicked through and read Martha’s Run, Daddy, Run column, you’ll know that her father iterates research done during that trip on no fewer than six works that were written in the subsequent couple of years.
Suddenly, I felt better.
My output this year, excluding 31 Plays in 31 Days, has been sparse: one one-act comedy and one two-act drama. I still haven’t finished rewrites on I won’t count how many works – it has been a very tough year in some respects and yes, there’s a play coming out of that – but I think I’ll forgive myself. I’m always doing research of one sort or another, and the plays will emerge as they will.
Happy New Year.