Thursday, June 16, 2011

Battle with Battlestar

A recent struggle between my contentment dame and my ambition brat distilled itself down to one simple question:

"Do I want to watch more Battlestar Galactica or take a writing class?" 

When worded that way, a seemingly dramatic dilemma -- swirling with weighty questions like "what kind of life do I want to be living?", "how much I want to be pushing myself?", "how much do I allow myself to relax?", "do I really want to be pursuing a writing career?" -- suddenly had a very clear answer.  Of course I want to be the person who would chose taking a writing class over watching BSG.

That said, Battlestar Galactica is an amazing show, honestly one of the best things I've seen on television (ranking up there with Buffy and Breaking Bad for my favorite series ever).  I only just discovered it, and have already managed to devour the entire first two seasons. It feels a little like a drug - pulling me, calling me, teasing me with "what happens next?" And thanks to Netflix "watch instantly", I can have a hit any time I want. So when trying to answer the question of whether or not to leave my time more unstructured this summer, I looked at how I've been spending my free time lately and feared that I wouldn't use it all to rewrite my play, to research the next play I want to write, to write some short plays, to start writing my blog again.  Nope.  If recent past was indicator of future, I was going to use too much of it watching BSG.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a little television now and then. We all need a little brain candy sometimes. But I've discovered that I don't do so well when I have free time.  The busier I am, the more stuff I manage to squeeze in.  While I manage to accomplish a hell of a lot that way, the trade off is that I can end up incredibly stressed and sleep-deprived.  But now that my work life is streamlined down to just one job that requires significantly fewer (but more intense) hours, I am sincerely hoping I can actually strike that magical, beautiful balance between getting things done and remaining (mostly) sane.

So thus begins a new phase in the continuing growth and development of Natalie Wilson, playwright/voice teacher.  After allowing myself several months of slowing down and demanding less of myself creatively, I am recommitting to my writing and to using my time more productively.  Last week I began writing in my morning pages journal every day again (which is already making a huge difference in my outlook).  I started a new writing class last night, Short Forms with Sheri Wilner at ESPA Primary Stages.  I am, obviously, writing in my blog again (hello!), with a goal of 3 posts per week.  I am tracking my time this week to see how I'm spending it (ala 168 Hours, great book if you aren't familiar) and am determined to be able to fit in 20 hours of writing per week (including class time) as well as the 15 hours of bike riding per week I have been doing.  I know the time is there if I just choose to use it well.

But don't worry, BSG, I haven't given you up for good.  It's just going to take me a little longer to get through all of you.  Which means I'll actually get to enjoy you for that much longer.

It feels good to be back.
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