Oh, I’ve Had Better Days

It’s too much. All the focus on politics, the anger it sometimes stirs and which then pours out here on these posts; I’m tired of it. And today, in this instant, I apologize to any Southerners, Christians, or Republicans I might have offended with the last few posts (but not Joe Lieberman). Hmm, that maybe didn’t sound sincere. But it is. I am, I know, in my own way just as intolerant and self-righteous as the people I accuse of being self-righteous and intolerant. I sometimes think I know so damn much, when really, in my heart, I follow the Socratic dictum that all I really know is how little I know. I hope to work on all these flaws – though I won’t make any promises for sustained success. I am a writer, after all, mercurial and self-indulgent. And willfully provocative in this forum. Sometimes, the things people say and do are just too tempting…

Today I want to post some random thoughts on one of my other favorite Crisis-related topics: writing. First a tip of the cap to Isaac Sweeney, the owner of the fine blog Ways with Words Online. Isaac featured me as a guest blogger the other day, so I want to give him an appropriate public thank you (there’s a link to his site in the blogroll to the right).

And here’s an update on the new play I mentioned last week. After the initial burst of enthusiasm and cranking out of about 14 pages, the writing has stopped. I’ve gone into a research-and-rumination mode, perhaps because the idea for this and the initial writing were so unexpected. Usually I go over a play for months in my head, with maybe a few random, largely undecipherable notes jotted down, before actually trying to put words on paper. The suddenness of this play’s genesis made me question what I was doing, if it were really a play I could write in any decent fashion. The verdict is still out.

Seems like there’s another general crisis of confidence today. The new bio is coming out slowly, not helped by the fact that my PC has virus problems and I’m working on my laptop on the dining room table. Not cool; I am a creature of habit, and this foreign environment has thrown me off. And it’s not helped by the lingering chronic pains I’ve been feeling in my arms/shoulders, which make typing a bitch. The Ibuprofen and lorazepam cocktail seem to help a bit. I’d top it off with a Belgian beer, except then I’d really be useless.

And struggling with the new bio and play doesn’t help the overall confidence level. Fears start to slip in that the new play will die stillborn, and the other ideas floating around will just float, and I will never finish another play. Just more of these mindless posts that so few people even know about or care to read. Boo hoo.

I received my latest copy of the Dramatist Guild’s magazine, boringly titled The Dramatist. Reading it usually stokes mixed feelings: some things inspire, such as how others wrestle with the writing process and the business side of staging a play. Other articles depress, as writers better and much younger than me talk about their successes. This issue is about musical theatre, so there is less relevancy for me. I do hope, though, when we are settled in CT, to make trips into the city and take advantage of the DG’s programs. But from what I know about the playwriting scene in NYC and the one here, if I couldn’t find a community in Chicago (or try hard enough to find it), then I doubt it will miraculously appear in New York.

Playwriting pet peeves, shared by many of my brethren: stupid rules for submissions to theatres and contests. Well, not stupid, just not consistent. Some want titles and names in the header. Others want nothing. Some specify font size and spacing, ignoring the standards that most theatres prefer. Some ask for five copies of a play, with a SASE. Other demand fees. Then of course, a good majority never respond to your submission. You just wait for 18 months or so to go by and then think, “I’ll take that as a no.” There  is some debate, at playwriting forums, whether we get shat on more compared to others in the theatrical world. Or maybe it’s just those of us in the lower echelons. As I’ve often thought, writing good plays might solve more of my problems.

Well, I feel better. It is time for that beer and more lorazepam yet?


~ by mburgan on November 18, 2008.

2 Responses to “Oh, I’ve Had Better Days”

  1. Maybe you need more than just a Belgian Beer with that Ibuprofen and lorazepam cocktail. “turn it up a notch”, BAM! Everything gonna be alright.

  2. Are you suggesting heroin?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: