I’m writing a play. I’ve never written anything for theatre before (aside from my year 11 solo piece), nor have I ever considered writing anything for theatre before. It kinda just happened. In a really organic, unforced, spontaneous way. One minute I was writing what I thought was the beginnings of a novel and then the next I found myself lost in this very real, moving, evolving ‘thing’ in my head that was, well, screaming at me for an outlet through which to be born. I knew nothing about writing stage plays but it felt right so I wrote… and kept writing… and four drafts in, am still writing now. The funniest thing about all this is that I feel the most comfortable and ‘at home’ working on this play than I ever have with any other form. I feel like I’ve found my ‘thing’.
Looking back, my writing has always wanted to ‘move’ and I’ve always felt the need to be more physical when creating. I’ve written on the walls in my studio, have thought about buying an easel and some butchers paper and ‘throwing’ words onto the page (this urge usually comes when writing poetry) and quite a few of my pieces are in the form of a dialogue; but I’ve never made the connection between these things and writing for the stage. I’ve never felt ‘experienced’ enough, or good enough and, to be completely honest, it hasn’t really crossed my mind all that often. I’ve always felt bound to the form of the novel, or short story, or poem and it’s taken a bit of courage to convince myself that it’s O.K. to move away from these.
I don’t really know what I’m doing but I know how what I’m doing makes me feel and that’s enough to keep me going. I’m finding that, for now at least, google and Writers Victoria and Playwriting Australia are doing a sufficient job at filling in the holes in my knowledge that keep popping up. Oh and reading about how other playwrights get their nike on helps too.
image courtesy of Ed Schipul