1. I’ve been saying to people “Why no, I’m not writing anything just now” for about two years, and it was seriously starting to annoy me. And depress me. And cause me to question whether I should even consider myself a playwright. I needed some kind of impetus to just write something, and this was it. Now I can say “Why yes, I just wrote the first draft of a new play, thanks for asking. Hummus?”
2. My lifestyle has changed considerably since the time I wrote most of my plays. Back then, I was either working at a low volume call center where I could write a ton in big blocks of time, or working freelance at home, where I could write a ton in big blocks of time. Now I’m busy and away from my desk frequently and I’ve had to learn how to write in small blocks of time. I learned this month that I can do just that.
3. I actually love the play I wrote. The NaPlWriMo vibe isn’t necessarily about quality of work, it’s about cranking out a complete draft of a full-length play in 30 days. It can be, and apparently often is, without cohesion, sloppy, and ridden with continuity problems, characters appearing out of nowhere, shifts in plot that don’t make sense, all the rough, sloppy stuff that should just pour out of a writer in a first draft, leaving the subsequent rewrites to make sense out of it. But silly me, I wrote a nice little first draft that I’m psyched to show people. It has its problems, but the play I intended is very clearly there.
4. I had a ball writing it. Because of the time constraint I didn’t want to work on something that required heavy research, complex structure or any of the usual over-thinking and overanalyzing that I always do before even getting the dialogue on the page. What form and structure should I use? What genre? Is this marketable? What theatres can this play in? I threw all that out. I had a concept near and dear to my heart – to write about my father – and I just let myself riff on that. Fun, sloppy, dirty, silly, boyish riffs on what it means to be a hillbilly stock car driver stuck in Wisconsin.
So that was a blast. But now what do I do with it?