At the Snowbound Writers’ Contest reception, writers were invited to read their winning entries. Later judges were given an opportunity to discuss writing. One complimented the readers. “I appreciate what you’ve done,” the judge said, “because it is hard to read one’s work aloud before an audience because what you write is so personal, so intimate. You’re baring your inner feelings, your soul, so to speak.”
Writers are somewhat different from actors and actresses who were born with the desire to perform and be a “star.” Writers tend to be more reticent. In today’s world writers have to engage in marketing their own works, so they are learning to be more “outgoing.” Social Media demands it. I now have engaged with people on Twitter and Facebook. I share comments about books on Goodreads. I talk about scripts on Trigger Street Labs. People I’ve never heard of have invited me to connect with them on Linked-In. I belong to a writers’ group, and most are familiar with these websites. They tell me what to do and how to do it. It’s a new world for me out there!
Writers do want their works read and performed. They write, however, because they can’t keep from writing. One friend tells me when she starts a new play, she gets so excited,” it’s like a high, I can’t stop. I’ll write all night until I’m exhausted.” I have writer friends of all persuasions. One writes early in the mornings. Another writes after the kids leave for school. Frankly, my time is so fragmented, I write “in-between times.” Most writers I know do that.
So how do writers relax? Like other people relax except they are always thinking--- thinking about what they see and might utilize in some work or what they hear and how to incorporate it as dialogue in a play, or what they experience and how they can develop it into a plot. Someone recently asked me if I ever let my mind wander. Of course I do. I can tinker with Word Salsa and not think about it. I love to scratch off the words hidden in the puzzle of letters. I listen to music, garden, or clean house. I often concoct first sentences reminiscent of “It was a dark and stormy night….” How about this one, “She fainted when she heard a tornado hit the tiny Missouri town where she smoked her first cigarette behind her uncle’s tobacco barn.” Or how about this: “Hearing the Captain command his officers to hold their fire, he grabbed at the railing and tried to keep from sliding into the dark waters.”
There always will be an audience eager for a fine play or story with a great plot, well-drawn characters, and an interesting setting.