Phew! Yesterday I finally finished the 1st draft of my musical theatre play for Contact Theatre. It's called Venus & the Killer Bees, a romantic sex comedy about two Black kick boxing teams, one male and one female, who share the same gym. They have a grudge match between their two champions, who fall in love. Like West Side Story, but with bashment reggae and opera. It is going to be a big spectacle with loads of dirty dancing and thai boxing kicks!
Anyway, for the first time in my life, I ran into the dreaded writer's block.
2 Simple causes:
1) It's my first full length theatre piece and also my first midscale theatre piece (for 15 actors), so I got terrified and put off starting it for 6 months.
2) When I finally got the nerve to write it, after completing 20 minutes of dialogue, I decided that the treatment I'd written was not good enough (fear and insecurity again) and decided to rewrite the entire plot.
So, I shelved the project for over 18 months until the lovely Karena Johnson (formerly acting director at Contact, when John Mc was away) called me in in Spring to ask if I was still working on it. It has consumed my home life since then. I'm ashamed to say Contact commissioned so long ago (4 years) that John Mc had forgotten about it.
But, in the process, I have discovered two simple solutions for writer's block:
1) once you have started writing the 1st draft, don't stop till you reach the end of the story and never change more than minor details of the plot;
2) keep writing without looking back, even when you think what you have written is total shite.
Not rocket science I know & ppl had already told me these things, but aint nothing like learning from bitter experience!