So a few days ago I finished up work on a commission to write the "book" for a musical, and boy, am I ever glad it's over. The idea for the musical (which at the moment, I won't share, 'cuz the producers would probably consider it proprietary) is pretty great, but the preexisting book and score they gave us to "improve" were dismal; and while they wanted changes, they did not want a complete start from scratch, so now we're left with a damnable compromise between great potential and preexisting mediocrity. Anyhow, I'm out of it, as I said, (Yippee!), And now I'm simply waiting for my final check, which may or may not come— such is show biz.
The upshot is that I can start applying the same discipline I've been using to complete the musical book on a more interesting-- though also probably more pointless project-- my efforts to write an hour-long 'spec' TV show pilot. Being the primary caregiver for my year-old son doesn"t give me much time for writing, or anything else. (Even as I type this, I'm cheating a bit. I assume he's playing quietly in the living room, but he could very well be enacting elaborate plans to hurl himself out the window. Bad Daddy for not knowing. Dammit! Now I gotta go check. . . . Nope. Playing quietly, spinning the wheels on his overturned stroller— by far his favorite thing to do.)
Anyway, as for my discipline, it ain't anything groundbreaking. I make myself write an hour a day. Those of you who've never stayed at home with a baby are wondering, "So what?"; while those of you who've done it effuse: "My god, an hour a day?! How does he do it? He must be the Tiger Woods of self-discipline. He must duct tape the kid to the TV!" Well, it's not that extreme, though I have been known to strategically employ a little Baby Mozart and/or Elmo to get a quarter of an hour or so at the keyboard. Plus, I'm fairly lucky in that my kid's a regular napper. Still, it's a challenge every day to rack up that hour of writing, and when I do, no matter what I've produced, I feel like I've accomplished something.
I've never been the sort of writer than can write all day and into the night. Even when I was single and blissfully unemployed, more than four hours a day was pushing it, and I found that if I went over six, I had trouble coming back to the real world, and usually had to spend another hour stalking city block after block just to get back in touch.
So, time being, an hour a day will have to get me where I'm trying to go. When I was writing the musical, if I had any extra time after my required hour, I'd work on the TV pilot. Now I might be tempted use that gravy time to tinker a little bit more here in E2. Vruba thinks I should node more of my plays. I'm of a mixed mind on this. My plays don't get great reps, and I'm not convinced floating them out on the electronic ether is an entirely good idea, though I really couldn't tell you why not. I don't imagine anyone's going to do some pirate production of one of my scripts. And shoot, if they did, I'd get the double satisfaction of both publicity and monetary damages when I sued them. These days, publishers aren't necessarily breaking down doors to publish plays, even if they have had off-Broadway productions and won awards. And I've always been notoriously bad about promoting my own work. Maybe noding my plays is a perfectly acceptable 21st Century way of getting them to people who otherwise wouldn't know about my work. I honestly haven't decided. If you have thoughts on this, please message me. I'd love to hear what you think, pro or con on this idea of posting plays, before I start doing it again.