It’s rare that I wake up in the morning and decide that that day will be the day that I write a play. Regardless of my childish notions on the life of a writer, rarely, if ever, do I wake up refreshed, ready to sit at my painfully vintage typewriter in front of a view of the country landscape that screams clean air and cute baby piglets. Did I say rarely? Obviously I meant never.
Usually, my non-full-time-education-filled days will consist of the following – I awake at noon, having fallen asleep at 4am the night before, watching stand-up comedy on YouTube. Realising that half the day is nearly gone, I get ready to take on the world, which tends to take an hour and a half at least, because of my easily distracted juvenile mind (and the fifteen minutes-cum-hour that is my snooze period). I will then try my hardest to re-create the above scene, by placing my ever-so temperamental laptop next to a picture of a sun that I have drawn with crayon, so that I can at least pretend I am not somewhere where rain is as predictable as a Channel 4 television scandal. A new and fresh (or empty and bleak) document in front of me, I am eager to sculpt the unruly mess of ideas in my head, into something coherent and at least vaguely understandable to someone who doesn’t possess the odd view on the world that I have.
But before I type a word, I must check Facebook. Who’s to say that a recent public break-up or disappearance of a flying rat on FarmVille won’t provide me with an abstract sense of inspiration? At least this is what I tell myself, before I realize that another hour has gone past, it is now 3pm, and my word count is still zero. (Though I like to think of it as a small zero, rather than a ‘big fat zero’ because I know that I will write something. At some point. Someday.)
After having stared at my fingers, willing them to work without my input, I decide, with a flick of my hair, that I am an artiste, and that the reason words are not appearing is not because of anything I am not doing, but rather my approach, darling. Did Oscar Wilde use a temperamental laptop to create his plays? I think not! With an arrogant flourish, the laptop lid is slammed shut, I choose my favourite quill (when I say quill I mean Biro) and immediately begin to craft an alternative universe into which my audience can escape the mundane nature of their ordinary lives (I scratch today’s date on the top of my notebook.)
Before long it is half past three, and I know where my priorities are. I’ve spent so much time procrastinating that I am going to miss Countdown. This cannot be happening. My last resort? The GCSE drama approach.
I write down every and any word that comes into my head, ignoring its relevance or even presence in a modern language. When this is done, I realize that though it could be considered a waste of time, I have the word ‘two’ in front of me, and I clap my hands and ‘hurrah!’ at my own simple spontaneous creativity. Now, when people ask what I’m doing with my life, I can let them know that I’m writing a play called ‘Two’, and bask in their admiration (this admiration exists only in my head). As for actually writing the play, well that’s for another day. I’ve done the difficult part. I’ll start it tomorrow.
Image by Drew Coffman view more photos here.