Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Hi there and Happy Tuesday for such it is.

Actually, it's not, it's rubbish but I'm trying to pull myself up and put on the proverbial "happy face".

In fact there's probably some form of emoticon for just such an occasion but naturally I can't find it. This is inevitable when one feels down and blue with the world in general and ones writing in particular - one also becomes very very bad at technology for instance or finishing off your 5 year old son's "habitat" project.

 Writers are sensitive creatures, are we not?, and seemingly small things can tip one over the edge a bit.

Discovering you don't seem to have any money to live on for instance or having your "tree" made of toilet roll fall off your cardboard "remote Chinese mountain". The solution to the second problem is a lot more sticky-tape but the first problem is a little more complex. It's not really about money, it's about you becoming fearful that you actually can't make a living as a writer and just maybe your dad was right, all those years ago, when he asked when you were getting a "proper job."

But this is not about me having a moan about how hard it is to be a playwright (boo hoo) it is more about what can one do when one feels so utterly crap. GIVE US SENSIBLE IDEAS I hear you shout in my mind. I can hear you say other things too so just watch it.

Here is Vanessa's Tiny List Of  3 Things To Make Writers Feel Better.

1. Eat chocolate. 
No this is serious. Dark chocolate, that stuff that is 70% plus is choc-full(ho ho ho) of goodness and muchos antioxidents and also Magic Playwriting Qualities.

Ok, yes, I may have exaggerated about the antioxidents.

2. Consider dropping the coffee and the vino. 
Sounds counterproductive I know but the thing is after the initial buzz, coffee can increase anxiety and wine can be more of a depressant. Look, just think about it alright. I said 'consider'. I know lots of writers who have given up one or the other or both and they all swear by it.  God knows I think about it all the time.

3.Write or Don't Write
Ok that's a wee tad Yoda but the point here is not to waiver pathetically from one side to another but to say decisively: Today I Will Write or Today I will Not Write. And then stick to that.

So if you decide to write, try an easy gentle sort of exercise. One of my faves is to write a monologue starting with an overheard line (from anywhere) or an image of someone or a story that someone told you and then toot toot pip pip off you go for 15 minutes say. When you are finished file it under A Monologue A Day and then go and have either a coffee or a non-caffeinated hot beverage for being clever.
The next day, write another monologue, file. And so on for a week or 10 days. That's a load of monologues you have just written. In fact, in some people's view THAT'S A WHOLE PLAY.

Yes yes (you people shouting in my head - quite the opinionated folk aren't you?) you are right and perhaps most of those monologues are as rubbish as, well recent weather conditions say in the NSW Hunter region. Does not matter. Keep writing. One or two monologues may seem destined to go together and be the basis of a play. Others may stand alone as small pieces. Others will be chucked except for a line or a phrase, and they will go into something else. It's all good my friends. The point is, you will be writing. And don't you feel a bit better as a result?

If you decide it is a Non Writing Day then GET UP FROM THE COMPUTER. Do not sit there and feel guilty and tweet and facebook and weep and blo yer noz like a pathetik weedy gurl (sorry, suddenly channelled Nigel Molesworth for a sec) go for a BIKE RIDE. Or see a movie. Or go to the art gallery. Or, if you are Edward Albee, listen to some Bach and/or Mozart. Actually, you can do that even if you are not Edward Albee and it will be almost as good. You will be, as certain writerly folk like to say, replenishing the well of your subconscious. If you make muffins you will be replenishing the well of muffins. Also good.

But, my writing pals who feel sad or blue on this Tuesday. Hang in there. I felt really crap this morning and I feel a bit better now because I wrote this. And I recognise that I regularly feel like this and it is part of this road I chose.  In fact, the sun has come out here so I might have a quick bike ride and then write a monologue.

And just to pay off the "habitat" project - we managed to get it to school with all the bits attached. That's cave, waterfall, tree (for climbing) and recycled cereal pack bamboo.

I mean we may think being a writer's a tough gig but let me tell you, as I have recently discovered, being a Giant Panda is no walk in the park either.

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