I haven’t posted in a few weeks. I’ve been holed up with my new script. But last night after nearly a year, I have my first truly readable draft. It’s always a good feeling to have that readable draft (which is not the first draft – at least not for me). Feeling both full and empty – energized and exhausted, I sent it out to three readers, closed the laptop and had a glass of wine!
While this particular play is far from complete (it’s only just the beginning – it will go into development at American Stage in the fall) I’m purposely taking time away from the piece in order to have a clear perspective when I come back to it. In an ideal world I’d take months away – years! Of course writing by these rules isn’t the best laid plan if you have a deadline. But I believe that creating distance between the writer and the writing informs the finished work. In fact it’s been essential for me as a playwright and novelist. The reason is simple – I forget what I wrote.
We’ve all heard writers talk about when they get too close to their work, so when it comes time to put on their editor’s hat they can’t see the piece with any kind of objectivity. But if we step back – way back – it can feel like someone else wrote it. When I take time away I have the chance to be surprised by the story when I come back to refine, revise and polish the play.