Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 12: Pre-conception(s) - Part I

Whatever I might think writing a play will be like, I'm sure it's not going to be that. One lesson I've learned repeatedly in my 37 years on this earth: the more attached you are to expectations of a specific something happening, the less likely it is to happen. I've learned this lesson so well that I actually have very few preconceptions about this process. Given that not long ago I would never have expected to be writing a play in the first place, how can I know what it will be like?

Two years ago, I had never tried to write anything creative (except a really bad "novella" in 6th grade and some horrible heartsick teenager poetry in high school). I was always a good writer -- of reports, of papers, of correspondence -- but I didn't think I had it in me to actually be a creative writer. I mean, how do people do that? Come up with stuff out of thin air? I was a performer, an interpreter of art other people created. Not a creator of my own art.

In the last two years, I feel as if I have stepped off the time-line. As if I had been following a trajectory for my life and one day I just said, oooh that's a pretty light over there -- what if I went THAT way? No, no that's not it at all. It was as if I had been a pioneer heading for the mythical west, convinced if I just kept going long enough I'd find my fortune in gold. After slogging two thousand miles in my covered wagon, supplies dwindling and horses faltering, I suddenly looked up and saw the Rocky Mountains looming in front of me. I either had to forge ahead over that (in the dead of winter no less), give up entirely and settle down where I was (my personal theory as to how Boulder, CO was founded) or head south.

I headed south.

(to be continued!)


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