The feature picture for this post is an animated theater stage. I chose this one for an extra special reason. I chose it because my heavy interest in theater. I can’t quote you every line from Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, and other playwrights. My knowledge of the history of theater is okay, but it’s not up there as it should be for a play fanatic. I’m a fan of The Theater of the Absurd era, because I feel that the work that came out of that era matches every day life in general. While I greatly respect musicals, I hate them. That’s just being honest. I have nothing against any playwright that choose to write musicals, I have nothing against the producers and directors who work tirelessly to put a musical play together, and definitely have nothing against people who love and partake in it. After all, it’s an incredible area of art, and it’s America’s contribution to theater (although right now it’s a British guy who is the face of musical theater). It takes a massive amount of work to put a musical play together, so I’m not taking away from that by any means. I just don’t care much for it. While I feel that modern theater should incorporate soundtracks, I can’t stand the whole cast breaking out in song and dance in every scene. It’s distracting to me and I feel like it makes the play last too long. I guess you can blame it on my attention span.
When I first started writing when I was young, it wasn’t in the form of books. It was in the form of skits that I based off of the Darkwing Duck shows (DO NOT talk to any of my elementary classmates, because they will not let it go). In fact, I only started writing books in 2005, after a seven-year break from writing because I was in the Army, and during that time I thought that I lost my talent and interest in writing. I remember acting out several of my skits, and that was my earliest introduction to theater, something that apparently never left me.
For years after that, I used to write full scripts, mostly sci-fi. I did this all the way to graduation from high school. I remember constantly running out of paper for my school work because I would always use my new paper to write several stories at once. To this day, I don’t know where any of those stories are.
Writing was therapy for me. I wasn’t much of a talker, but I could write a mean letter. I remember several times, even when I was in basic training and on deployment to Egypt, that I wrote ten page long letters, simply because I had that much to say and I couldn’t just speak it. When I had my first depression when I was about 12, writing was my one break to help me escape, along with doing some acting for plays in my seventh grade class. If it weren’t for those two, I don’t think I would be here writing a blog today. So in that aspect, you can say that writing saved my life.
But I get turned off sometimes when I feel pressured to write. This is why I choose to be mostly independent. For me, writing is not a faucet that I can turn on and off. I can’t do it on command. It comes to me when it comes, and when it does, it flows almost non-stop. I understand that if I ever break into Hollywood, there will be deadlines. I get that, understand that, and willing to live with that. Otherwise, when other people try to force me to write, it takes away the motivation. All of the sudden, what was therapy for me is now nothing more than a chore.
So what’s up with theater? For one, I prefer to write stage plays over books. In my opinion, the book industry is too saturated, especially among self-publishers such as myself. I was talking with a fellow Mississippian author/publisher about a week ago, and we talked about how now everybody claims they are an author. It’s no longer a prestigious title. That’s one of the reason why I hate when people call me an author. This is not to discourage people from writing books; after all, I still have book projects I need to finish before I completely bow out of the book writing world. I’m just saying that the book industry is different that how it was when I first entered it almost 12 years ago. When I took my hiatus from book writing in 2012, I came back a year later to write plays, and I was shocked by what was out and who was out. I couldn’t believe how much the industry had changed.
Being a playwright and a screenwriter is the way that I want to go. I want to go that route because not just anyone cane say that they write plays and scripts, though some people are trying to do that with being a playwright like how they did it with saying you’re a book writer. Being a playwright and a screenwriter gives me a better chance to create my own world, regardless of how twisted it can be, and see people take part in it by acting in it. It’s a thrill for me. Besides, that’s how I discovered writing. It only makes sense to explore and develop something that I started with in the first place.
The business of writing doesn’t bother me. After all, I have a business management degree, and I feel that if I’m going to make a business out of anything, then I rather it be something that I love. But I’m not going to lie, it can be overwhelming. But by the end of the day, I love the challenge. I just don’t want that love to be taken away from me.
Besides, writing is my escape from this reality. It’s my escape from this world. For a time being, I don’t hear anything or see anything, other than this world that I’m creating. It’s a joy and a thrill that no one can understand unless they’re in that zone themselves. It’s not something that can be forced. You can’t change my methods. It’s something that will come together on its own, no matter how messy it can be.
Until I see you again…