I’ve been participating in the 31 Plays on 31 Days Challenge. And it is definitely a greater challenge than I expected.
In the past people have asked, what is your method. And I would say, when an idea comes, I write it down. I do not necessarily write the inspiration down with a plot in mind, or in any particular chronological order, or anything, just cause it sounds fun or entertaining or both. And sometimes it is with a plot in mind or to expand an already existing story.
The 31 Plays on 31 Days definitely pushes participants out of their comfort zone, even if they already consider themselves to be a writer who has substantive ideas, who usually don’t encounter writer’s block. Typically when an idea hits, I stop and write it down if I can, preferably when I’m not in a middle of a crosswalk. In the past when an idea flows its way from my brain to my fingers via pen or keyboard, I am easily able to well, just write and in time give the words the depth a story line, give it meat.
I now more than ever appreciate that this experience pushes me to write just cause rather than wait. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still savor when that type of inspiration comes, but as 31 Plays in 31 Days says, “Instead of waiting for the breeze of inspiration to blow your way, you will see that writing is a craft that can be called on at any time.”
With that said, I am definitely more behind than I thought I’d be. Out of the 23 days of August, I’ve written and submitted 8 plays. But I’m proud to say that I have at least written down ideas for plays almost every day, ideas I hope to turn into concrete scripts. For me, I need at least a beginning, middle, and end, without that my plays just feel incomplete. I’ve learned more now that it’s ok to write something I think is bad, but even my “bad” work needs those 3 elements.
The other day I was feeling pretty bummed I couldn’t think of anything, especially since writer’s block has been foreign to me in the past. (Probably because I hadn’t tried to write when I didn’t have a concrete idea. In a way, I’ve taken the easy path to writing and didn’t realize it. Those works are still great, they just come from a different creative place.) So, while being bummed, I was watching some youtube videos of actors/playwrights I admire. While watching I found a mini-musical series that really inspired me. I think it’s funny and smart and helped me be less bummed for sure. Here is the link to the final episode that turned my spirits, but I highly recommend watching the whole series. The series is called “World’s Worst Musical” —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBH91jEyikc. This series is also helping me take the leap to write my own melodies for future musicals I write. A few weeks ago, 2 of my really awesome friends were yelling at me for saying “can’t” too much in terms of that. But now, that word is out the door. In fact, I finished writing a mini-musical today. I submitted it to the 31 Days project and am in the process of working on the melody :D.