Sunday, July 4, 2010

JulNoWriMo update + a realisation

Day 2: I hand-wrote 1,700 words between the train to work, during lunch, and on the way home. I then had to go through the tedious and frustrating process of typing it all up! I'm getting a much more concrete sense of plot and characters though, which is good.

Day 3: Didn't. Do. Anything. Very very bad.

Day 4: I have a page of scribbled notes which I will be turning into actual prose as soon as I can get to it! My mother exploded (not, y'know, literally) and I had to do dishes, clean the bathroom and tidy my room to mollify her. I'm about to run away to the boyfriend's house to give her some air. I may or may not watch several episodes of Dollhouse season 2 while I'm out ;)

Next write-in is scheduled, and I have two more pledged attendees - male ones, this time. Last one was a bit of an estrogen fest! I'm hoping a bit more actual writing will get done, I'd love to challenge someone to a word war.

While I was typing up what I'd written in day 2, I got an e-mail notification for a forum I joined a little while ago. It's for members of a theatre club from a friend's uni. I was planning on auditioning for their next production because I'm missing theatre a lot. I mentioned that I wasn't too keen on the proposed titleof the next production and had someone on the forum literally tell me my opinion was wrong! I was a bit taken aback because the thread had been actually asking for feedback on the title.

It got me thinking. Writing is, at its core, a solitary pursuit. It's you and your characters, the world you've created, and however you get them out (whether that be typing or handwriting). Some people like to write with company around them, but it's all about head-space. It's intellectual, practical and emotional. In complete contrast, theatre is almost a high-adrenaline sport, it can stress you out that much. It's sweating and bleeding and crying with your cast and crew, people who will get to know you in ways nobody else can, people you'll adore and despise at different times throughout rehearsal and performance! It's beautiful and ugly, it's as natural as breathing and as hard as pretending to love those you hate, and hate those you love. It's being yourself, when you're not. It's bringing paper people to life and then asking an audience to come with you on their journey. It's the taut nerves and the cheap extravagance and it's like nothing else on earth.

But... it's not me. Since I was thirteen, I was spellbound by the whole thing. I was enthralled by the idea of being somebody else. I was intruiged by the idea of moving my characters from my head to a page, and then taking it one step further and making them into somebody, at least for a little while. Theatre gave me confidence, it gave me community, it nursed the social and outgoing parts of my personality back to what it had been before the ravages of not fitting in, while I was going through puberty, of all things. It made me who I am today, don't doubt that, but... today I realised... I got so off-track. I was so busy being an actor, a stage manager, a props-costume-makeup-coach and whatever else was needed, whenever else, that I neglected my writing. I strayed from my true passion. I stoped trying to get better, and get experience, get exposure and see my name in print.

I'll never ever call my time in theatre a mistake. I loved it, it patched up some of my wounds, and I met some truly great people. But... I don't belong there, not really. I'm not made for those bright lights. I'll miss them, and a part of me always will, but I belong with a pen in my hand, because of these words in my heart. I need to devote all my focus and energy to those words, if they'll ever make it out.


  1. I love your brain. You have a beautiful mind.

    I'm going to bring a gal pal to the write in :)

  2. Elimy: you can have my brain if you'd like, it causes me SO much trouble ;)

    Sounds good, I think that the phrase "the more the merrier" defo applies to write-ins. It's going to be epic. I hope that cafe has good coffee, I've never actually been to it!

  3. Hey :)

    Sounds like a good thing to have realised. Working out what's not you gives you the space and energy to focus on the things that /are/ you.

    And of course, all experience is source material, right?


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