Quote of the Day: Blow, Blow thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind, as man’s ingratitude. William Shakespeare, from his play As You Like It. Composer John Rutter took these lines and set them to music. We sang the choral piece in high school. In my mind, it’s the unofficial song of the wintry North. We got socked hard here in Minnesota this week.
Mother Nature, among other things, can knock you off the path of productivity.
It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. You can also visit the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh for more info and links. Today, I have the honor of being one of the co-hosts, which means, I’ll be visiting as many blogs as I can. Thank you for stopping by here today! The other awesome co-hosts for the March 7 posting of the IWSG are Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner!
The question of the month for the IWSG is: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?
I do a little woop, woop, and eat a piece of chocolate. Then, I switch to an activity that doesn’t involve a screen. I take a walk, play the piano, phone a friend, plan a lunch date. When something really big happens, like getting my story selected for the upcoming IWSG anthology, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, I call my mom and other friends and family. I share my joy with other people. (Release date for Tick Tock is May 1, 2018)
Is it possible to feel both inspired and insecure at the same time? I was at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN this past month, watching Indecent, a play with music by Paula Vogel. It is her masterpiece, beautiful, heartbreaking, thoughtful. She links stories and people, and with the help of the composers, marries the music to the dialog in a seamless union. I felt inspired by this performance and the playwright. I also felt completely inadequate to write a review (although, I did, you can read it by clicking the above link), and I thought, why am I even trying to be a playwright? I wasn’t able to attend her workshop, which I would have loved, and I haven’t taken advantage of any of the classes offered at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, even though I’m a member. I’m stuck up here in the North Country, shoveling snow.
Of course, the snow will melt. My kids are growing up. And, I can make choices on how I want to spend my time and money. I’ll figure out a way to participate in some of the offerings at the Playwrights’ Center. But, I’m nervous. Will all the other playwrights be younger than me? Will they have had more experience, taken more classes, earned degrees in theater? Does that really matter?
I hope the sun is shining wherever you are today and that you feel inspired by something, celebrate your successes in your favorite way, and that you have people to celebrate with you.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What have you celebrated lately? What’s your favorite sweet treat?
A few snowy pictures, especially for those of you who don’t live in the colder climates. We haven’t had a big snowstorm like this in years. It’s that heavy, wet snow that is hard to move. It killed my snowblower! However, I called the EGO company, and they’re sending me out a new one.
Here I am at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, MN with the other Twin Cities Theater Bloggers, a couple years ago. We were invited by playwright Lee Blessing to hear a reading of his new play, Minneapolis/St. Paul, which was terrific. It is one of the highlights of my theater experiences in the twin cities. It’s time to get back there!
Subscribe To Mary's Newsletter
Join Mary's mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Play Off the Page.
RIP to your snowblower! I have definitely felt inspired/inadequate at the same time, when reading an amazing book. Good idea to get off the screen to celebrate.
Thanks, glad I’m not alone in those mixed feelings.
Oh, and congratulations on the anthology!
Hi Mary, celebrating with chocolate is the best thing to do and most of us writers do that, we just need an excuse to eat more chocolate 😉
Looking forward to reading your story in the IWSG anthology.
Thanks for co-hosting this month!
Thanks, Rachna. I’m honored and thrilled to be part of this anthology.
Yes, some of the other playwrights will be younger – but some will be older.
Some will be more experienced – but some less so.
Only you can create what’s in your heart though – so go! create! inspire!
Thanks for hosting, and best of luck 🙂
Yes, Angela. Give my words right back to me!!
Chocolate wouldn’t work for me – if I had a piece, I’d eat it before I got started rather than save it until I’d finished!
Funny. I might have done that, too!
Brr! Now that’s what I call snow! I hope you’re warm and cozy and fueled by lots of tea, coffee, and hot chocolate.
I understand those insecurities. When I finally finished my BA, it was online and I was one of the oldest students in most of my classes. Grad school is still just a dream, but I always think the same thoughts: will I be the oldest one there? Will all the other students have experience in the field coming into graduate work while I’ve been writing and working at a health food store? But it doesn’t matter. We get to where we need to be when we need to be there. With hard work and perseverance we’ll get there.
Keep writing! Keep creating!
We all come to things at various ages and stages. I need to remind myself of that. Thanks, Jen. You inspire me, too!
Congratulations on getting into the anthology! And believe me, it’s TOTALLY possible to feel inspired and inadequate at the same time–I’m willing to bet a lot of writers experience it!
Thanks for co-hosting today!
Sorry about your snowblower.
Don’t let those great plays intimidate you. You can write one just as awesome.
Thanks, Alex. Who knows how great anything is, or can be, but creating it is reward in itself.
We’re dealing with a severe snowstorm here in Pennsylvania too. The weather really can screw up your creativity. I had big writing plans for yesterday and today that I had to put on hold because I’m trapped at the office (at least I still have wifi).
And, sore muscles from shoveling!! Come on, Spring!
Chocolate is always good, esp. dark chocolate. This has been a brutal winter, snow-wise. Here in West Michigan, it’s still coming down. Woke up to snow on the ground again. But the sun is shining. Yay!
Praise for sunshine and warmer temps. We’re hardy folks Up North!
We had a dusting of snow in December. But other than that, we don’t get much where I live in Texas. Poor snowblower, dead at door. May you see signs of spring soon. We are seeing them all over the place here.
Nice. Thanks. Warmer temps and sunshine will be most welcome!!
Hi Mary – glad that lot of white stuff isn’t here! That was some shovelling … take care and enjoy all your theatre and writing achievements and goals – cheers Hilary
Thanks, Hilary. One thing about snowstorms, they bring out the neighborliness in people.
Out here in Los Angeles I’ve been so cold of late. But I guess someone from your part of the country wouldn’t have much sympathy for me since it’s only been lows in the fifties (or maybe forties) with highs in the seventies. Poor me. No snow, but I can see snow on the mountains when I look out the window.
I think it would be difficult to write a decent play. I’ve never tried, but I doubt that I’d be very successful at it. I wish you well with your own writing endeavors.
Tossing It Out
Thanks, Arlee. And, I’ll think of you and your California sunshine. You might need to put on a sweater!
Hah – that dead snowblower pic is a writing prompt all to its own. I take my chocolate with a glass of wine. And like you, I need to get away from the screen for awhile. Congrats on your upcoming publication – I’m looking forward to reading all the stories in Tick Tock. Thanks for co-hosting today.
Oh no! Not your snow blower! I’m so sorry. Meanwhile in Florida… Mid 70’s, sunny with a slight breeze. Wishing I could share a little of my “summer” during your deep winter.
Eating chocolate and dreaming of Florida. Cheers, Crystal!
I absolutely believe we can be both inspired and insecure at the same time. Been there, done that. 🙂
I so do not miss snow.
Snow is nice in pictures, right? Thanks
Right glad am I that I don’t have to dig out from under a blanket of white like that! A playwright, eh? I taught high school theater classes for a while. There’s a HUGE need for shorter (say, 30 to 60 minutes) plays for youth theater productions. Much of what’s on offer is silly, derivative fluff.
Best of luck with your writing, and your weather, in the stormy month of March.
Good advice on what the needs are. Thanks, Rhonda. I enjoy writing for, and with, young people. I’m offering a play writing workshop this spring.
Congratulations on the anthology! And wow, that’s a lot of snow. I know the feeling of being inspired and insecure at the same time. We just have to push on forward. 🙂 Thank you for co-hosting today.
Thanks, Christine. Good to know that I’m not alone.
No sun here in Michigan today, although that’s pretty typical for us this time of year. Congratulations on the anthology, and thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG post.
Thanks, Ken. Sending sunshine your way. It’s very bright here with all the snow on the ground!!
I join the others in congratulating you on the acceptance of your anthology. I hope you are able to gather the courage to test yourself by taking some classes offered at the Playwrights’ Center. You have a vivid imagination. Can you use that talent to enroll and find out if you want to continue?
Your reward tradition is inspiring me to do something similar. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Lynn. I’m going to keep putting myself out there. And, I found your blog, no problem!
Enjoyed the pictures. Never experience snow like that. Thanks for co-hosting. Happy IWSG Day.
Thanks, Juneta. Glad you liked the pics!
I was asked over a year ago to write plays based on my books. I’ve only taken one class but I can’t wait to get started on them. Time, time, time.
I’m looking forward to reading your contribution to Tick Tock, congratulations!!
Thanks, Doreen. Your books will make great plays!
All in good time. Just think of you storing up life experiences to draw on to write your plays. Those young whipper snappers won’t have near the great stories and folks you’ve met to use as interesting, quirky, clever characters for your plays. Yep, I have a lot of experience in Michigan winter. That’s why we are now snowbirds. And I don’t miss the snow and cold at all! Thanks for Co-hosting!!
Ah, Snowbirds, that’s the good life. And, thanks for the pep talk. So true. Many years of life experiences and characters along the way.
Chocolate and family sound like the best kind of reward. Congrats on the anthology! And thanks for co-hosting this month.
Oh my gosh! This desert rat would perish in that kind of climate. Leo is indeed a trooper 😉
If you must compare yourself to others be honest – you are at the very least a creative equal!
It’s just that not everyone knows it yet. My guess is that you’ll wow the world – when you are ready 😉
Like you, I leave the screen – for sunshine.
Very nice. And, thank you. Ah, sunshine and warm weather. It’s coming!
Sorry about your snow blower. We just had ours repaired though this last storm missed us. Congrats on your story getting selected.
Thanks for co-hosting today, Mary! And yes, I’ve often felt inspired and inadequate at the same time. Push all those worries aside and just go for it! All the best to you!
Congrats on the short story! That’s wonderful!
We are getting hammered with snow in the northeast tonight.
Wow! I forgot how so much snow looks like. Here in Vancouver, we rarely have snow for more than a few days at a time, and the snowdrifts never reach such height, It always melts before that could happen. Chocolate is definitely in order.
I spend a lot of time feeling both inspired and insecure. Reading a book by a good author will do that to me. Taking a break from the screen when you finish is a great idea.
You need a snowblower! We’ve still got snowbanks a couple of feet high too. Lots of sun today, but we didn’t make it above freezing – hoping soon! 🙂
They’re sending a new one. We borrowed the neighbors snowblower. That was some heavy, wet snow!
Congrats on having your story selected in the IWSG anthology. Getting inspired and insecure at the same time? Check. Just another character trait of a writer. But the good thing about being inspired and insecure is it’ll also encourage you to create something amazing. Thanks for co-hosting today!
Thanks, Lidy. The inspiration wins over the insecurity.
Congratulations on your upcoming story in the anthology! It isn’t exciting. I love your sweet encouraging post and like you, I often turn to chocolate and also a good book. Happy writing and happy IWSG day 🙂
Yikes! I meant is…I am so sorry for my typing error.
Ha! Typos happen.
I hear you about being inspired and intimidated at the same time, when in the presence of really great writing.
Getting away from the screen is a good way to celebrate, as is calling Mom or friends! When I got the email on the IWSG anthology I ran out into the living room and told the family–none of whom had any idea what I was going on about, since I don’t think I’d even mentioned submitting the story 😀
Funny, Rebecca. I also had to explain what I was wooping about! Congratulations to you!!
“Will all the other playwrights be younger than me? Will they have had more experience, taken more classes, earned degrees in theater? Does that really matter?”
At almost 62, and just now coming into my own as a writer, I recognize these questions. And yet, I have signed up for a few/ many future classes and workshops. Yes, there is a very good chance everyone will be younger than me, that they will have more experience writing creatively, that they will have taken more classes, have earned their mfa. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But does it really matter? A resounding NO. You are the only you. And no one else can write what you have written/are writing/will write. Take a long, fortifying drink from the big cup of fearlessness. It’s available to all of us, I know. I’m just finishing Jane Smiley’s *13 Ways of Looking at the Novel* which is very long on encouragement of just this kind. She writes that the only absolute requirement for writing a novel is the desire to do so, followed closely by the love of language (and likely, for play-writing, a love of performance) and, third, a lived life. You’ve got all those in spades. You go, Mary.
Thank you so much, Deborah. Cheers to being fearless!
Let’s see. First, congrats for making it into the anthology, and second, thanks for serving as one of this month’s fearless co-hosts.
I think it’s absolutely normal to be both inspired and depressed when confronted with brilliance. The trick is to let go of the depressing self-doubts it evokes and hang onto the inspiration. You can do it, too! And as for age? Don’t let that bother you, either. Creativity knows no age limits. Heck, I’m an old fartessa with thirteen grandchildren… some of whom aren’t exactly children anymore… but as I like to say, I may not be a spring chicken, but I hope to lay a couple golden eggs before I go to that deep fat fryer in the sky. You’ve got some gold in you, too. You just have to believe.
Susan, Great response! thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment
Oh yuck, Mary! After seeing your snow pictures here, I will NOT complain about our Texas winters!
Congratulations on being selected for the IWSG anthology!
Thanks, Trisha! It’s overwhelming, snow and cold, this year.
Thanks for co-hosting this month. I like the way you celebrate. It’s very reasonable, healthy, and sounds rewarding. Glad to hear you were able to get your snowblower replaced. I haven’t been to the theatre in ages; I need to fix that.
Yes, Toi. Look for something in your area that is new and intriguing, or a classic that you haven’t seen for a while, or ever. There are so many good shows!
It’s sunny and 80 degrees here in San Diego, but we’re expecting rain this weekend.
I’d love to take a screenwriting class. I’ll bet there will be all levels of experience and ages. You’re a great writer too! So just go for it!
Thanks for cos-hosting this month!
Thanks, Gwen, and you too! I plan on taking a class this year. I’m also teaching one for middle school students this spring.
You’re a playwright! I’ve never met one through this community before. Nice to meet you! What a cool writing gig you’ve got. 😉
Thanks! I’ve only met a couple other playwrights on this list, too.
Hi Mary! Thanks for co-hosting, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re neighbours. I’m from Winnipeg. (But I skipped winter this year. I’m in Mexico.) And so many congratulations on making it into the anthology! 🙂
Raimey, Lucky you to skip the Winnipeg Winter and migrate to Mexico. Thanks, on the anthology!
Not sure if my comment made it in. Let’s try this again. Testing.
Yes, Raimey, your comment came through. I needed to approve it because you are a new commenter.
I’m a theatre bug, Mary, and yes, I’m intimidated by every impressive play I see as well every great book I read. Bravo to you for being included in the IWSG anthology. Thanks for co-hosting this month. There truly are a lot of chocolate-eating writers here. I am certainly one of them. But right now, I gave it up for Lent. *I’m dying here!!*
Thanks for stopping by, Victoria and sharing your own angst. Sending virtual chocolate your way.
That’s a lot of snow! And a very camouflaged cat, lol.
Yes. It’s starting to melt, now.