For those of you who have remained in suspense since reading my last blog post, I’m happy to report that I made my deadline. After toiling away since July – or rather, attempting to toil away while being constantly distracted by our dozen or so ongoing apocalypses – I submitted my entry to this year’s round of American Shakespeare Center’s Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries competition on Wednesday at 10pm, two whole hours before the deadline. (No sense leaving anything to the last minute.) I’m sure I’ll come back to the draft and tinker with some revisions in weeks to come, but the major project, to the extent that it’s ever possible, is completed.
There’s always a come-down, a decompression period when a long creative process is finished. It’s a fine time to step away from the creative process for a bit, to let the proverbial batteries recharge. And ordinarily, I’d be too busy with other commitments – work, the gym, social events, and so on – to even pay much notice to this necessary recharging. We’re not in ordinary times, however, and given the previous scripts I’d been working on this year, this marked the first moment during the quarantimes that I didn’t have a writing deadline. The first actual moments of free time I’ve experienced during all of this.
Dear Lord, it’s bizarre.
I mean, it’s not as if I have nothing to do. On Saturday, for example, I finalized casting’s for this week’s Tuesdays at Nine reading, went for not one but two long walks, read a book, and taught myself how to cook a turkey leg in preparation for Thursday’s remote Thanksgiving (and not for nothing but everybody should be making it a remote Thanksgiving this year or else how the hell is this shit supposed to end). Felt like a full day’s activities – especially since it was pitch dark outside when I looked out the window after they were all concluded. And yet, on glancing at the clock on my wall, I discovered that it was only 7pm – with a whole night yawning ahead of me, with nothing to do except brood and stew in my own anxieties, watching helplessly as the nation falls apart.
And this is what everybody’s been doing for the past eight months?! No wonder we’re all losing it!
Obviously, the thing to do is expedite my little recharging phase and move onto the next project as soon as I can, so that the stress and mental anguish of trying to write something can crowd out all the other anguish that surrounds us. It’s a shame, though – the holiday time would be.a perfect time to relax, in a world where relaxation were at all possible.