A quick, rambling thought process on self-imposed (and very real) deadlines …
Ask any writer how to be a successful writer (and for the record, I am not yet one) and they all say the same thing: put your damned butt in the chair and get shit done. And yes, a lot of the time that means turning off the distractions and unchaining yourself from the internet and just writing. No matter how much it hurts to do so. And sometimes, it actually hurts. Sometimes, writing also means admitting that you can’t get it finished by your self-imposed deadline.
Earlier this year I wrote a one-act play. Oh, the 45 pages of women sitting in a used bookstore didn’t need any kind of queer subtext. It was right there and the 45 pages just flowed from my fingers and the people who read it, loved it. I submitted it as proof that I can write scripts and then tucked it away. Now, I am expanding it into a full length play and it’s amazing how much harder it is to make all of these little bits and pieces fit together over the course of 90-100 pages. Initially, I was going to have some actor friends get together today and read through the new and improved lines. What I didn’t take into account when I set it up earlier this week was that this wasn’t just going to be expanded but completely rewritten. So, today has come and I am no where near ready to have anyone read this thing. But, the improvement is immeasurable. I call that progress.
So, sometimes what it means to be a successful writer is just to allow the self-imposed deadlines to pass. There are much more important deadlines coming up – like January 31st, when this gets sent over to Plan-B theater company for their emerging writers competition. Which means I have 20 days.