by Lindsay Joy · March 3, 2014
The Farm Report
Procrastination Station is my official stop this week on the train to Playville. I’ve made some choices and fleshed out some characters...the start is pure joy. Beginning a project is all play- anything is possible and you get to follow any and all impulses. Now- in that thirty/forty page place I start to second guess and spin my wheels.
Now is the point in the play where things need to start happening. Conflicts need to come to a head. Obstacles need to be clear. And bad things are going to start happening to these characters I’ve come to love. I know what I need to do, but this is what I actually do. Stall. Watch murder shows on TV (thank you ID channel). Clean my house. Talk in hour long sessions with my friends about where I see the play going, but not actually writing it. Paint that little portion of wall that accidentally got red paint on it from the previous tenant. Laundry. Trim my toenails. Go to jobs that pay for my life and suck away my soul one plate of spaghetti at a time. Watch more murder shows. Bake cookies. Murder shows. Rinse. Repeat.
Then- the guilt of procrastination sets in. Oof. This past week- I taught a re-writing workshop at my alma mater, the University of New Hampshire. I preached up and down about the discipline of writing every day. Which I do...what I didn’t say was that I sometimes write a bunch of bullshit. Meaning, I write things to distract myself from the project that is frustrating me. Short plays. Monologues. Pretend teenaged wizard diaries. I write bullshit to avoid writing the tough scenes.
I should take comfort in the fact that it’s getting hard. It should be hard. I’m a writer that believes good writing should cost you something. Padraic Lillis said it first to me, and he is always right about these things. I know that when I write the scene that makes me cry at my laptop that it will become my favorite scene of the play. It will reveal something about myself that makes me uncomfortable as hell, and hopefully will move my story further along. It doesn’t make it any easier to tackle.
I’m signing off now. As I’m using this blog to procrastinate.