I don’t want to talk about it.
When I’m writing a new play, the “what’s it about” question always catches me off guard. I usually stammer through some explanation that, although brief, ends up making the play sound like the most trivial thing ever written. Once I’ve said it out loud I feel oddly self-conscious and as if the play and even something of myself has been compromised. Inside I’m kicking myself – the play sounds like a total stinker, who would want to see that!
Over the past eight months or so I’ve been hiding away in my office writing a new play. As to be expected, the story, characters, and language are evolving every time I sit down at my desk. To talk about it while I’m writing it is like giving away a secret.
Perhaps just as expecting parents sometimes don’t care to reveal the sex of baby before he or she is born, I know many writers that don’t want to talk about “what it’s about,” until it’s ready for production or publication.
Like all art forms, every piece of writing is a living, breathing thing. Unfinished art has what I think of as a soul – but not yet a body. The body takes on a form when the work – the novel, the painting, the sculpture, the concerto, the song, the play are complete. For me I feel as though the soul needs to be concealed and protected. Yet it never fails, I always feel obliged to talk about it when asked – mostly because I just don’t want to be rude.
But really, I don’t want to talk about it.