I currently cannot write. It has nothing to do with a lack of ideas, interesting characters, or twisting plot-lines in my head. I have plenty of those. I can’t write because I’m distracted, and this fact has actually taught me a few things about writing.
First off, I’m distracted over drama. I write, direct, produce a lot of drama, and while usually that fact unleashes the creativity inside of me, I have noticed this time around, as my show is about to open, the distraction of the endless menial details of putting on a show has completely blocked me off from the story I have been writing.
When I sit down to write, I can’t get all of the stress of the show off my mind. Continuing to write my novel at this moment becomes a burden which I currently can’t bear.
Here is what I have learned about writing:
1) Writing takes concentration and focus. Story and character development isn’t invented on a whim. Okay, sometime it is, but to delve beneath the skin of a character and to peel back the layers of a story require ones undivided attention. My attention usually comes and goes in two hour spurts. I am completely immersed in my writing and this new world, and when I come up for air, I have to do something else for a while. Usually that means that my writing session is over the day. But this week, as I’m staring at my show opening in a couple days, my brain is too scattered to think of anything else.
2) Writing takes energy. Beyond the concentration and focus, writing takes a good deal of energy. These last couple of weeks, I have been lacking in energy, and all energy I have has been channeled into my show. I don’t have much left for my novel at this point.
3) Writing takes unimpeded time for thinking. This is perhaps the biggest reason why I can’t do any writing until after my show finishes in a week. Writing is thinking. I have said this many times. But when my thought processes keep defaulting on ticket sales, stage-set up, and last minute details, I simply don’t have the time to think. Therefore, I don’t have the time to write.
But that’s okay. Because in a week, after I collapse from a full week of theatre, I know I have a manuscript waiting patiently for my attention, and I’m sure I’ll once again be ready to give it the time, concentration, and energy it deserves.
Actually, I can’t wait.