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Top Ten Tips of 28 Plays Later

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

Here are the top ten tips as written by past participants:

1. KEEP GOING – Just keep going and submit something every day. You might want to quit quite a few times. You might feel like you’re cracking up. Just write even if you don’t feel like it.

2. CHALLENGE YOURSELF – Be uninhibited and explore themes and topics you would never normally contemplate. There is no one to impress. The dafter, riskier, obscurer the better. And don't be content with a three-page play if you know deep down that you could write more.

3. RELAX - Don't stress about making things good. And if the panic gets too much... take a deep breath. It’s only a little bit of money. Don't get stressed or angry. Don’t overthink it. Just write.

4. DON’T BE PUT OFF BY BRIEFS YOU DON’T LIKE – Remember, briefs are just prompts for ideas, not rules to follow. Use them as a means to improve your writing, not a series of onerous tasks where you have to create something amazing every time.

5. STORE IDEAS - If you have extra ideas for one day, write them down. You never know when you’ll desperately need to be inspired by your mind.

6. FIND YOUR RHYTHM AND METHOD – Some people like to work quick, some want to sleep on a brief. Some need to put aside 30 minutes to write, some just go with the flow. Some carry notebooks. Some take long baths. Some bake cakes. Some like to join the community on the internet, and some get stressed by it. Whatever it is that works for you – find it, and don’t get too stuck on what others are doing.

7. SLEEP - Never sacrifice sleep for the play.

8. HAVE FUN - Remember it's supposed to be fun, so don't get stressed. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy the pleasure of being able to write rubbish without pressure.

9. MAKE A RITUAL OF SENDING THE PLAY - create some form of ritual action to perform upon sending your play. Tick a chart, do a dance, down a shot of biscotti-flavoured baileys, yodel into the street - anything that will remind you whether you have or haven't submitted your play for the day. It's worth it to avoid that spine-tingling horror of uncertainty whispering at 9:59 am the following morning.

10. Don't agree to travel from Devon to Bristol on Valentine’s night carrying a suitcase full of wigs, to be in a performance at a rave that goes on until 3.30am. Then jump on a coach to London, arriving at 7am to find that all the tubes are cancelled, walk for 2 hours to The Pleasance Islington, sit outside the venue for an hour waiting for it to open, spend the day in rehearsals and then finally perform a sketch exploring what Shakespearian characters would be like on Grindr, only to get the coach straight back to Devon, wait for a train for 2 hours, arrive home at 6.30am and then have to write a short play. Please, I can't stress this enough: DON'T DO IT!


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