All of last week, I was pretty busy with paying gigs, and various other excuses for not doing any writing. But my playwriting group, Rhombus, meets on Monday, and I'm supposed to actually bring something for the actors to read. That's one of the things that I love about our group--each writer (there are six of us) is expected to bring material to every meeting.
Unfortunately, I'm sort of between projects, and most of those are novels, and I've decided not to bring long fiction to the group (if I can help it). I've been feeling rusty about writing plays and didn't have a great burning idea. Luckily, I've been writing plays long enough to cut myself a little slack. I knew I didn't need to come up with anything brilliant. I just needed to come up with something. Two hours of ass-in-the-chair time helped that happen.
I find, when I'm a little stuck, it helps to not try to conjure greatness out of the void. Parameters are my friend. I knew that I need one more short play for my Collected Obsessions collection. I could look at the other plays, and try not to overlap, try to fill in the missing pieces in terms of style. By thinking about it this way, I knew that I wanted a two-woman comedy, that doesn't take place in an office or a house, and that the women couldn't be sisters or neighbors or romantically involved.
Maybe that doesn't conjure the great romantic notion of a writer sitting at his desk and stirring at the pot of genius. That's okay. I just needed the start to a scene, a chance to loosen up my playwriting muscles after a long stretch (I wrote short play over Memorial Day weekend for May Day Play Day, but that's been it for a while) of inactivity.
The good news is that I wrote a three-page start of a pretty goofy short play. I don't really care if it's good yet, but I'm glad to have it started.