Monday, March 22, 2010

Powering Through

Monday. 6:45AM. Writer's block.

I read an article on Helium a while back from a guy claiming there's no such thing as writer's block - anyone who says they have writer's block is just a lazy, unimaginative writer. And while I guess if you're a bitter, struggling mid-level hack your ability to always come up with something to write about when others can't might bring you some comfort, but as I've been told this weekend after one of the most philanthropic gestures I've ever made, it's quality, not quantity that counts.

But quantity is what the world is all about. Write, write and write some more, we're told - you need a large body of work, a large portfolio, a large season of plays in order to be successful. But don't forget qualilty! Not only do you need a lot of stuff, but it's all got to be the absolute best. Yeah, you have to be the next Stephen King or you might as well go be a schoolteacher or a plumber or a miserable failure because you aren't good enough to be a writer.

It may be 6:53AM and my fingers aren't quite working as well as they should (I keep hitting the CAPS LOCK key) but my mind isn't quite as far gone as it usually is at this hour on a Friday. Consequently while my diction may not be at its best I'm still reluctant to believe that I'm a terrible writer just because I haven't yet said enough that's good enough for people to think of me as great.

I'm a lousy writer and proud of it. I write for money. I write for love. I write because I have to write and I want to people read what I write or watch it come to live on stage. I'm not Stephen King, but I do have a story to tell, a narrative arc to my plays, to my articles, to this blog and to my life that is interesting, valuable and and entertaining. I know I strike a chord with some people - some have told me, others have shown me, some have even tried to hide it.

I'm a lousy writer, but I'm powering through, because that's what all writers - good, bad or lousy - do.

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