Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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A new ball rolling

Posted by Oli on Tuesday 13th March, 2007

I’m nothing if not reliable – I’m quite liking this new era of being able to work out what my body’s telling me, it’s certainly better than the confusion leading up to Christmas this year (see Nov/Dec’s posts for more) – as yesterday and today I find myself back on the wagon and with enough energy to get through the day again.

Not only that, but I’ve also found the time (and inclination) to start a new ball rolling.  Yesterday, for the first time in nearly 3 years, I think, I actually sat down and started writing a new play.  It’s only small, and not very grand, but with 8 pages down on the first day, I can really seee where it’s going, which is somethin of a rarity for me when I first start projects.

It’s actually based on a couple of ideas I’ve had for quite a while, but have only recently strung together to make a sensible whole.  The whole thing kicks off with an image/scene I’ve had in my head for ages, but not been able to find the right context to put it into.

One of my biggest problems when I start out writing is knowing where things are going to go and knowing that there is some conflict there which will drive the story/plot.  Many of my abandoned attempts at plays in the past have fallen by the wayside because nothing happened in them.  As good an ear for dialogue as I think I have, all talk and no substance doesn’t make for a very interesting play.

So I’ve kicked off the new one with a cracking first 8 pages at the first sitting and I’m hoping to keep up with around 5 pages a day in the hope of getting a first draft done by the time I go into hospital for my next planned course of IV’s at the start of April.  From there, if I like it, I’m thinking of submitting it to the Verity Bargate Award which Soho Theatre runs every year.

It’s about time I actually started to put my scripts out there and stopped sitting around at home calling myself a writer with nothing but a couple of 10-page Youth Theatre pieces to show for it.  I also plan to redraft an old script of mine which I workshopped when I was out in Texas – I’ve got reems of notes on it, but never seem to have managed to get into the groove of turning it around.

I don’t know if it’s the spring sunshine, the move away from the cold, dreary winter nights, or the knowledge after Laughter for Life that I really can achieve something if I set my mind to it, but I seem to have found not just inspiration, but motivation thrown in.

I’m all too aware of the ease with which my motivation can drop, so I’m keen to harrness it while I can.  And once I’ve built up some momentum, hopefully it’ll just keep coming.

And now I’ve blogged about it, of course, I’ll have plenty of people popping their heads in to ask how it’s going, which is only going to make me work harder, since the only other option is learning how to lie convincingly about what I’ve managed so far – and that’s just not me.


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