Under The Influence

I have to admit.  I’m struggling.  I’m working on a new play.  Rewrites of a new play.  A play that I wrote as a part of the Playwrights Union  writing challenge, where we have to write a play in a month.  And BOY did I write a play.  I did.  I cranked it out.  I was INSPIRED.  And it felt great.  Words and ideas took over and I just cranked out pages.  And those pages weren’t so bad.

Writing while inspired is the best feeling in the world.  It’s EASY.  And it seems to feed itself.  One idea begets another idea and they don’t seem to stop.  It’s AWESOME.  I feel GREAT when I’m inspired.  I really truly feel like a great writer when I am writing under the influence of inspiration.

But then…  well.  If we want to continue with the obvious metaphor… (see how little inspiration I’m working under?) the next day, I’m hung over.  Can’t move.  Can’t write.  Can’t come up with a DECENT metaphor.  Sigh.

My behavior admittedly has been more than a little embarrassing.  I’ve been throwing little tiny tantrums.  Just last night I throw some pages across the room.  Thankfully, it’s a very small office and they didn’t have far to go to land in the pile in the corner.  But, my wife saw me do it.  I don’t even know what I accomplished by doing it.  I didn’t feel any better and I didn’t get any pages written.

The truth of the matter… and what I am desperately trying to remember: this is the work of writing.  Writing isn’t inspiration.  It’s doing the not so pretty and not so glamorous work of REwriting.  It’s hard.  And it can be boring.  It’s rarely inspiring.  But it has to be done.

Lately, oddly, I have been finding many things inspiring… My work for the LA Stage Times, interviewing, seeing shows, watching a rehearsal, has been a tremendous boost to my belief that a life in the arts is possible.  Recently, I attended South Coast Rep‘s Pacific Playwrights Festival, meeting new writers and new artists, again… boosting my belief that a life in the arts is possible, producing a short film with my wife…boosting my…. Well, you get it.  What I want to do IS possible…

But, it’s NOT about being inspired to work.  It’s about working when I’m NOT inspired.  It’s about sitting down.  And writing.

I just wish it wasn’t so… HARD.

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