This magnet is from the theatre company that put on the production of Our Town which we saw on Friday night.
All Things G&S
WHAT I'M READING
That's it for today!
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
10 January 2001
I finally got the review of Our Town written this morning. It was like pulling nails. I don't know why.
There are some reviews which roll trippingly off the fingers, and others that just take a lot of work (I'm sure this comes as no surprise to any other reviewer--or writer in general). I think I wrote Oliver! in an hour. It took at least 8 hrs to do Chess. Our Town comes in somewhere between those two extremes.
I go through the tortures of the damned when I'm trying to write something. Despite the fact that I sit here at this computer for far more hours than I care to admit every single day, 7 days a week, usually getting up at 4 a.m. to work or to chat (or both), when I am actually on deadline to produce something is when I might decide that I can't wait another moment to--
I don't know what there is about facing a blank screen that turns my insides to jelly and sets me to pacing up and down. My mind becomes a blank and I do all those chores that have been sitting undone for weeks while the deadline looms ever closer.
Somewhere in the hard drive of my brain, "things" are happening. There is some active swap file somewhere that, without my conscious participation, is swapping blank page for workable information, retrieving pithy sayings, and deciding whether so-and-so's performance was credible or not.
When I finally have reached the point of no return, I sit down at the computer and begin typing. And somehow it all comes together. It amazes me very time.
Lately the swap file of my brain, like the swap file of my hard drive, seems to be running a bit slower. So I've been doing more pacing and hand wringing and hitting myself over the head wondering what in the hell I'm doing thinking I can write anyway.
Brigadoon came fairly easily. A little struggles...a few extra trips to the refrigerator, a load of dishes in the dishwasher and it was ready to be sent off. I wasn't completely happy with it, but when it appeared in the paper tonight, I read it and thought..."hey--that's really not bad!"
Our Town should have been a snap to write. Maybe it was the connection to Paul and the previous performance. The words just wouldn't come. In the end I took a cop-out. I searched the Internet for other reviews to give me inspiration, I told the story and listed the players (actually there were no really outstanding performances, and generally speaking the watchword is not to give negative criticism to adolescent performers).
I did find one thing I really hated (the director decided to insert sound effects this time and it was such an incredible distraction) and dwelled on that.
By the time it was finished, I'd lost all perspective on whether it was a good or a bad review. I suppose I won't know until I read it tomorrow.
But I did get two loads of dishes done, the kitchen table cleaned off, lots of e-mail written, groceries purchased and put away, and the laundry folded, so it can't be all bad!
Created 1/7/01 by Bev Sykes