Thursday, August 30, 2012

Window Writing Wrap-up

That's me, in the window!
Yesterdays' "Write Out Front" writing-in-the-window experience was both a great success and a bit anti-climactic.

I started getting incredibly nervous the day before when I realized I needed to figure out what scene I was actually going to write for all the world to see.  I wanted to pick something really good, a scene that would seem exciting to passersby who know nothing else about the play.  Fortunately, that question resolved itself the night before, as the writing I did took me up to a sequence of scenes that would include the ultimate conflict of the play.   That ought to get their attention.

The next morning I made myself look pretty (after all, I was going to be in a window), then packed up my computer, power cord, notebooks, speakers (for music to work by), historical reference book, and pretzels and grapes to snack on.   Micheline (the organizer) got me all set up, and I was ready to go by 10:56.  I decided to break my 105 minutes into two halves, allowing a stretch break in between, and set my timer on my phone for 50 minutes. My self-imposed rule was to not stop typing until the timer went off.  With butterflies in my belly and adrenalin pumping through my fingers, I began.

I began typing with the awareness that other people might be seeing it, looking at what I was writing as if someone else was writing it (never helpful). But within 2 or 3 minutes, as I realized that 90+% of the people walking by were paying no attention, I stopped being nervous and just focused on what I was writing.  A half hour in or so, people started gathering in front of the window -- but unfortunately they weren't gathering to watch me, they were waiting for something next door and actually had their BACKS to my window, blocking the view for anyone else who might be passing by.  My initial nervousness at being observed turned to indignation at these rude people who were blocking people from looking at me.  ("Hey, look at me!").  I let it go, and eventually someone from the Drama Book Shop asked them to clear the way.

In the end, not that many people stopped to read.  A few friends stopped by, and two actors with whom I have worked and haven't seen for ages happened by and saw me, which was fun.  But most of the attention I got from doing this project was not from people who actually saw me do it, but from people who read about me doing it on facebook or this blog.  People seem quite impressed with me for doing this, and one person even said I'm an "inspiration".  So that's quite lovely.

More important than any of that, though, is that I WROTE 18 PAGES.  In an hour and 45 minutes.  I am pretty sure that is a personal record for me.  When I left, I could barely even remember what I wrote, and honestly didn't have the faintest clue if it was any good.  But I went back and read it this morning before diving in to write more, and have to admit there is some really good stuff in there.  I can actually see the end of my play from where I stand now, and am completely confident I will be able to finish the first draft by the end of Monday.   Hallelujah.
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