Starlight, Spinning Tree, Master’s Degree

My writing has somewhat stalled.

On a great note, since I’m a student, I was able to purchase “Final Draft” playwriting software at a significant discount. The playwrights on “Cry Havoc Podcast” mention using that program, instead of Word, and I can tell it will be much better. You can track characters and arcs and replace character names more easily. I am not looking forward to transferring my current works to that program, but I will tackle that task another time.

I was in my kitchen the other day and I decided, above all things, I would rather be a terrible playwright rather than be a really good anything else. I’ve got to create balance – with a young child, work that does have to pay the bills, family obligations – but in that space I spend a lot of time daydreaming of rewrites and ideas I’ve had for years.

My Master’s degree is done the middle of December. In the meantime, I’m submitting the play I’ve completed, as far as I can, to workshops and theatres that accept new works. I am attending theatre as often as possible. On September 4th I am going with two girlfriends to see “Ghost Writer” – at the Spinning Tree Theatre – a Theatre I have not attended nor reviewed before. This should be a good time. I’ve attended Starlight this summer with one of my best girlfriends, and that has been a good contrast to the smaller, local theatre shows I’ve been attending.

 I will continue to write in my spare time, but my pursuit of producing my own work and finding spaces to rent and create will most likely need to wait until December, especially since I have just taken a new job that is taking more time than I expected. It’s my goal, my objective, to be a playwright, even if I am the worst one you’ve ever heard, but my goal is still there. I am plugging away towards my goal, even though I am slowed a little bit by the rest of my life, it is a goal that I simply cannot give up. I tried to leave the theatre for years and it made me ill. I cannot be a square peg banging myself into a round hole; it will crack me again and that cannot happen. I just need to keep the balance to keep myself well and healthy.

With my health, the strange thing about being bipolar is that when I forget my medication I feel as if I can conquer the world, and I get very excited about what I write, and what I’m doing, and I am completely singular in my obsession. I annoy myself. However, listening to other artists, I hear the same excitement and singular drive and obsession in their voices. I have talked to my therapist about this – that I am not sure if in these moments I am really manic, or am I just happy because I have been unhappy for so long? Does happiness feel like mania because I’ve been stuffing my feelings for years and telling myself I shouldn’t act the way I want to because I need to be an adult and not be creative?

This is a question she and I continue to ponder: is it mania, or am I just happy, and shocked because I’ve been so unhappy for years? She and I agree that I need to keep balance so I maintain my family throughout this process, and I do not become so obsessed with theatre that I lose sight of everything else, but she and I have both considered that the mania is simply true joy and happiness. It’s such a foreign concept that I am assuming it’s a manifestation of my mental illness. That is sad, and strange, but yet; I am comforted to listen to other artists who sound and feel the same as me, who are just as obsessed with this strange art that is on the fringes but yet has survived for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. This is comforting, and good therapy.

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