Are You Playwright Enough?
As a writer, I like to challenge myself. Partly it’s because I enjoy proving people wrong- including myself. Partly it’s because I like to see what I can do. And partly it’s because I’m a huge scaredy cat and like to find ways to break myself of that. That’s why I’ve decided to take part in 31 Plays in 31 Days.
31 Plays in 31 Days is ” is an opportunity for playwrights to flex their writing muscles by pledging to write an original play every day in August 2012. Participating writers will join an online community of other playwrights and those who successfully create 31 plays will be invited to submit their work for our online reading production […] The pressure of this goal will allow you to set aside preconceived notions of what you should be writing and how you should be doing it. You will not have time to overanalyze your work, you will just have to write, write, write and be surprised by what comes out of you.” (description taken from the website.) It was created by Rachel Bublitz and Tracy Held Potter, and I think it’s a brilliant idea.
It’s not the first of its kind- National Novel Writing Month has been around since 1999, and its sister event, Script Frenzy, began in 2007. I’ve participated in each of these (NaNoWriMo for four years, Script Frenzy for one), and have never regretted it. As the description above says, writing so rapidly gives you no time to consult your inner editor, and I value that in this experience. I spend so much of my writing time thinking, ‘You can’t write that! It sounds stupid/doesn’t work/will cause people to think you’re insane!’ But in doing NaNo and Script Frenzy, I’ve learned that writing with those censors gives you half the novel/play you set out to write. Slowly but surely, these programs make you fearless- or at least willing to make mistakes. My favorite rule of Bublitz and Held Potter’s is “Submit the work that you’re not happy with. We don’t care if your characters are believable, if your plot is plausible, or if your ending is satisfying. We just want you to write a bunch of stories in a fixed period of time.” It’s not the quality that counts- at least not yet. The wonderful thing about these projects is that they allow you to force your way through your insecurities and while you might not have a polished play in the end, you finally got that idea out on paper, and now you have the rest of your life to bring it to full fruition.
I’m excited. I started writing my first play around 12:30 this morning, and submitted it around ten a.m. It’s a stand-alone monologue, and I feel like there will be a lot of those this month. I’ll keep you posted on my progress once a week!