As I have done more writing, I’ve made a difficult discovery. This may be something that is obvious to most people but wasn’t to me.
Good Hard Work is hard to do.
It is not fun. It is not comfortable. It is not all the things I like most about writing (the imagining, the playing). It is building and breaking and building again. It is revision. It is listening to other people respond to your work, thinking they are wrong and then realizing they are right. And that you have more work to do. That they aren’t not impressed by the pages you have written, they want more different better.
Good Hard Work is hard to get to do.
I recently got back from WordBRIDGE, a two week playwright laboratory. There were four playwright total and then a ton (like 50) additional artists to help serve the plays. Normally, I find myself a lot of playwriting adjacent work to do. Things like casting, things like rehearsal. Even asking the play smart dramaturgical questions. But at WordBRIDGE, there were other people to do that work. People who were really good at it. I was left with the work of writing.
And it was not easy. All those people made it easy to get to the hard work but I was alone in writing the play. And I did. I got some great work done.
Those two weeks also made me realize how much more I can push myself in my regular writing life. Another discovery I’m superficially not super happy about making. But on another level, a deeper level, it’s worth it.
I feel great debt to WordBRIDGE and the artists they gathered and the time given to us. And even more that, I feel grateful to have spent that time with a group of people (people who started out as a strangers) who thought the best of me. Who thought I could do good hard work.