Last year was a bit insane for me. I don’t think I’d ever experienced busy like that. Even for me, a notorious overworking workaholic, it was … intense. Everything stacked up starting in June and suddenly I felt like I was in an avalanche of creative activity that I had to just keep running ahead of to survive. Not to say that I’m not proud of most of the work that was done and didn’t enjoy much of it. But almost four months later, I am just barely coming out of the aftermath. It would be an understatement to say that so much of the busy-ness that came along with it all was due to an attempt to defer grief after my mom passed away at the end of 2017.
Aside from directing two shows, performing in another two, sound design on one, being a literary committee reader for one company, and producing for my own company. I’m still reeling from how much writing I did – and how many of my plays were produced or had readings. For some of my acquaintance it’s not that impressive, but considering my normal output, it was a turning point. I’d never written a single full length play – I’d started dozens, but never completed one – and in the span of six weeks I wrote two. The quality of one of them was not something I’m happy with at all, but the other was fun and exciting (and needs a lot of work, but I want to do that work). I proved to myself that I’m capable of it and figured out how to do it. I want to finish a few of those dozens I hadn’t been ready to do before. Eventually.
I also wrote two and a half episodes of a web series, two short plays, and did major rewrites on another. In my private life, I also wrote a number of short memory snippets, and a couple poems.
One of the things that was somewhat galling about all the flurry and fuss was that nearly everyone I was working with was in the same boat. Overlapping and sometimes competing projects with looming deadlines, juggling full time day jobs, caregiving, family crises, and the driving force of rehearsal rooms and theater spaces. I kept thinking that this passion for making theatre in an economy that doesn’t sustain us, in a housing market that makes even the wealthy blink, is slowly killing us. I’m not the only one who burned out hard last year.
Even after a few months of rest and actively not creating, I’m still not quite up to doing much – I just don’t have the mental stamina. But, I can feel my mind turning to the act of creating again, not with a sense of “must do” just a calm feeling of clarity and slow moving progress. After almost fifteen years focusing almost entirely on theatre and plays, I’m thinking it’s time to go back to short fiction… maybe long form fiction. After I finish rewrites on the Dragon’s Eye. After I continue doing “nothing” for a bit longer. June maybe. Maybe.