As you’ve hopefully surmised by now, Constant Reader, I post each week’s new blog entry on Monday. This Monday also marks the deadline for a one-act submission opportunity; it’s for a company I’m familiar with, and I’ve had an idea for this particular festival rattling around for some time. As usual, however, life intervened, and instead of sketching out this idea at a leisurely pace a few months ago, I was forced to frantically start work on the piece as soon as I got home from the Valdez Theatre Conference. Which only left me a few precious weeks to finish it, during most of which time I was frantically trying to catch up at my day job and had precious little time to devote to creative endeavors. But with the deadline bearing down upon me, I was able to grind out a draft, and spent the whole of this past weekend revising it. (Here in New York, it’s too muggy out to do anything else anyway.) As of this typing, on Sunday morning, the revisions are complete. So with hours to go before the submission deadline, what is it I’m doing?
You guessed it – I’m writing this blog.
It’s been a running gag since the very first post I made here, but that’s because there’s a fundamental absurdity in writing about your writing when you could actually be writing. But then, there’s a fundamental absurdity in all the time management we’re asked to do. At any given point, I may need to research some topic for an upcoming project, or comb through upcoming submission deadlines, or prepare new drafts to post on NPX, or read other playwright’s scripts to reciprocate their NPX recommendations. If acting opportunities ever become a regular thing again, I’ll presumably need to spend time memorizing lines. And only one of these tasks can ever be performed at any given time.
We’ve evolved a system where any writer needs a team of assistants and advocates – agents submitting scripts, donors and benefactors providing spending money – in order to be able to properly devote themselves to writing. And simultaneously, we’ve evolved a world were only the tiniest fraction of us have any sort of access to that kind of support. And to make things even more fun, we show every indication of being more willing to burn society completely to the ground (thanks a lot for the assist there, pandemic) than to refashion into something we could actually function in.
Man, that’s a depressing thought. It’s a good thing I’ve finished the blog post and the new submission, because now I’ll be depressed the whole rest of the day.
(Which won’t stop me from catching up on research and script readings, but still.)