Whenever I do these challenges, I like to keep my eye on the finish line, as they say. My brain works better when I can see the end – however far in the distance it may be.
The walls of David Bowie’s Labyrinth
At the start of the challenges, I go to the submission calendar and don’t really register the bigger picture. My play is done (for better or worse) and I find the appropriate day-square, enter my email, upload and submit. Then it’s back to real life and work, laundry, food-shopping and avoiding responsibility as usual.
By the end of the first week, it’s often hit or miss as to whether I can find the right day-square or even enter my own email correctly, and I become increasingly aware of all those rows of blue squares stretching on and on like the walls of David Bowie’s Labyrinth.
I start to think that perhaps my brain isn’t equipped to cope with all these new thoughts and ideas, or even worse, maybe it has run out. It's all too easy to convince myself that everyone else is happily typing away and creating the next work of theatrical genius while I'm struggling to form whole sentences and spell 'absolutely'. Maybe I just got lucky last year and it’s time to call it a day and go back to bed…?
Daily routine of writing
But just as the thought of writing a new play sends me into a mental quicksand. I realise that I’m already halfway there.
In the blink of an eye I’ve written 16 new and complete plays. I’ve developed a daily routine of writing and some of the things I’ve written are promising, maybe even pretty good. I’ve created characters and scenarios that I would never have thought of by myself and been able to discuss, share, laugh and celebrate with lots of other people too.
13 more chances
Writing is usually such a solitary task that this opportunity to connect on this journey is a huge bonus. We can all share the joy of writing something we’re proud of, the fear of being stuck staring at a blank screen with only an hour until deadline, and the highs and lows of what it all does to us on a personal level.
In some ways, the last 16 days have flown by and I can’t quite believe we’ve only got 13 more briefs, 13 more chances to explore and create, 13 more days to hit the submit button and do that little celebration dance… or is that just me?