Getting your worst ideas out of the way (a few thoughts #9)

Between writing projects, sometimes I feel as if I will never write another thing. Or I come up with one idea, get absolutely excited about it, then when it comes to the sitting down and doing it part freeze, paralysed by the pressure I put on myself.

Every writer feels these things. To continue as a writer, you learn how to accept or to deal with these feelings. Here’s a small technique I would encourage anybody to try when they find themselves stuck or paralysed before starting work on a new play. 

For a week, spare yourself about five to ten minutes a day and try to write out summaries of the worst possible plays or screenplays you (or perhaps anybody else) could write.

Coming up with five absolutely terrible ideas with short summaries entertains me, but it also takes the pressure off my creative muscles.

I would love to share some of the hundreds of terrible ideas that I have come up with in the past, but they really are terrible.

However, they served a purpose. They got me writing, and got me thinking about what I actually do value and want to see on stage or on screen in a positive way.

Beyond this, by not sharing them, I also am able to reassure myself that I am allowed to write crap but the crap does not have to define my work.

So, onward with my next project, a kid’s story, Greg, about a kindly pit bull terrier that belongs to a small group of crystal meth addicts and does their housework and other charitable acts. I’ve properly thought this one through. It’s going to be great.

Photo by Mike Burke on Unsplash