Somewhere I lost track of the playwright side. Somewhere I lost my first love. Somewhere I became one of those people who look at their craft as a mere hobby. Somewhere I let a piece of me die… I’ve gotten used to explaining that I’m more than a writer that I’ve explained myself out of being one all together. I’m mad at myself for thinking that it was okay. As odd as it may seem, I think I’ve been in mourning for the past two years. I’ve been mourning the loss of my creative theatre self. Working a 9 to 5 has given me options but nothing towards my true goals.
Truth: I haven’t figured out how to write plays and maintain a 9 to 5 job. Earlier this year I worked on a piece for a state grant and you would have thought they were asking me to write a research paper on biophysics! I couldn’t get going. I’m not a morning person which makes morning writing out of the question. Writing on weekends is difficult when you’re trying to maintain an apartment, relationship, and ties with family. I could write at night, but I’m tried. It’s draining working at a liberal arts college with over privileged kids!
When I try to write, words don’t flow from me as they once did. I lack passion. I lack energy. I lack desire.
I will never understand the term “work-life balance”. I look at Yoda– yes, I have a Yoda, a theatre Yoda– He has to deal with work, his young kids, his wife, and still finds time to write. Or at least he tries to…but I’m sure there is something that is sacrificed. For me, playwriting has been the sacrifice.
I’ve kept a journal since I was 10 years old. It keeps me writing. Each day I find the time in the morning to write my thoughts down… the thing about playwriting is that it can’t be done in segments. Characters lives live and breathe in all-nighters! The 4am miracle used to be my favorite time of day… that moment in the early morn when you finally figure out why character A wants to kill character B in a surprising, not expected, and uplifting moment of theatre! Do you know that last time I had a 4am writing miracle?! Journal writing is better than not writing, but I miss my plays.
The best way I can describe it:
I miss collaborating with directors, designers and actors to bring my ideas to life. I miss hearing my words spoken by someone other than me. I miss watching an audience’s reaction. I miss applause. Oh, how I miss applause.
I miss the theatre! I am still a playwright even though I work a 9 to 5. I am still a playwright even though I am not writing new plays right now. I am still a playwright because I have written plays and will write plays again. That is what matters.