EXHIBIT #05 – Missing the Mark


FEAR OF THE WEEK: Giving up the second I miss the mark once.


So, I missed my usual Saturday deadline this last week. Which was…honestly, probably for the best, on a personal level, for multiple reasons:

  • First off, I missed it because I had a writing deadline for a project that I have been struggling to be excited about, but I made a point of using some unexpected free time in the last week to ensure I hit it.*
  • Second, while this was not a reason that I missed it, it was probably good for me to realize at 10:30pm on Saturday night that I was not going to get anything written, or posted, and that that was okay.

Part of the reason I started this project, silly as it is,** was simply for the discipline of making myself write something, basically anything, every week, and put it somewhere publicly visible in order to hold myself accountable. And honestly? I’m pretty proud of myself for managing to hit my arbitrarily chosen deadline for the entire month of January, which makes it a bit easier to forgive myself for being late on this 5th entry.

My mom made a point to me once, that as a kid, and specifically a hyper-perfectionistic one, I had developed the habits of either waiting until the last minute to do thing so that I could forgive myself if they weren’t perfect (see: 95% of papers I wrote during my 10+ years of college) or giving up as soon as things got difficult (see: piano, gymnastics, soccer***, modeling ****, etc.) On a certain level, I suppose it was good that this was brought to my attention so that I could be aware of this tendency in myself and try to take measures against it. On the other side, I sort of wish I had never realized this, or come to the realization on my own, because now I over analyse everything I do, or consider doing, against this metric.

So this is the point where normally this project would die. Where I would decide it’s too hard, it’s unforgiving, it’s unsustainable, I missed one and will obviously miss more so why bother, etc. But the whole point here was to try to get outside my comfort zone and commit to something long-term. And let’s  be real: I know that for all the folks who “like” my Facebook post with the links to these things, maaaybe 20% of those folks click-through and read the whole thing.***** But, the whole point was for me to make a personal commitment to this messy, vulnerable, soul-baring idea of writing a weekly post about some stupid thing that preoccupies my brain, without getting too obsessed with the perfectionistic need to have it read or acknowledged by anyone other than myself.

And so, here it is. Late, boring, and maybe less absurd than I’d like it to be, but necessary. I’m gonna keep writing these, and talking about them, whether anyone pays attention or not. And sometimes they’re gonna be late, and I’m giving myself permission for that to be okay. Because honestly, if I keep giving up even when something is as inconsequential as this dumb blog, how will I get anything else done?




* I actually didn’t hit it. My draft was due by 1 Feb, however you interpret that, and I sent it at like 3pm on 2 Feb because I have a lot of internal and external struggle with deadlines right now. Thankfully, none of the folks expecting it were mad about it…at least, not to my email-face.

** And oh lordy, I know it is very silly.

*** I mean, I guess technically breaking my wrist also played a large part in this, but that might just be me trying to make myself feel like less of a loser.

**** Yes I took a single class and I’m still traumatized shut up.

***** And I’m not hating on that; I’ve analysed a lot of social media engagement metrics in my years of managing pages and I totally understand.

Whelp, it’s August, and that means it’s time for 31 Plays in 31 Days, which I like to think of as the playwright’s NaNoWriMo, in a sense. The idea is exactly what it says on the tin: write 1st drafts of 31 plays within the month of August. Founded by two playwrights I know and love, Rachel Bublitz and Tracy Held Potter, the point is not to produce the next great masterpiece, or even something ready for a reading, just something in a semi-complete draft state that you can use as a foundation to edit or write forward from, and to help build that habit of daily writing.

I suck at daily writing. I always have. I think about it, but actually disciplining myself to sit down and get the words onto the page, whether for a play, a fiction piece, or even a quick blog entry like this, is hard for me. That’s why I like challenges like the 31/31 or NaNo. The sense of universal solidarity with some infinite number of other writers who might be participating helps me fell like like I’m not suffering through shitty first drafts alone, and gives me some motivation to try to, if not achieve the official goal, at least do slightly better than Past Me did.

This year, my personal goal for 31 Plays in 31 Days is to write the equivalent of one complete short-play draft (less than 5 pages, even)  every day, as well as 2-3 pages of one of my longer scripts, with the hope that by 31 August I will have drafts of 30 short plays and 1 full length in total. So far it’s day 2 and I’m already “behind” but hey, any words on the page are better than none. I’m tweeting 1-sentence summaries of each day’s draft to try to keep myself accountable (follow me here @LadyBedivere if you wanna see them), and every 5 days or so I’m planning to post a round-up here with those summaries and maybe my favorite line from each draft. No promises. But if you actually follow along either at this blog or on my Twitter and want to see more, let me know. Write On!