Have you noticed how long it takes not to do something? I have always known that it takes me much longer not to write a play than to write one. I think that's still true. I would write a play in 3 to 4 days, after weeks of not writing it. In the month of October, from the second to the 28th, I wrote a book, after not writing it for 6 or 7 years, longer. Now the key phrase to all this is FIRST DRAFT. Many more writers than I say that writing is re-writing. Just write. Just do it. Then re-write. Most writers who comment on this also say they have to cut a lot. It seems when they do start writing they hemorrhage and can't stop flowing. I don't do that, probably because I take so long not to write. I do find that writing the first draft is like gouging out my bone marrow, not that I've had my bone marrow gouged out but it sounds pretty thorough and deep. My first draft is a distillation of what I've been thinking, very tight, very condensed. I have to pry it open to rewrite, slicing with a razor blade, inserting with tweezers. How can I use metaphors like that when I use a computer and there's no such thing as cut-and-paste? That's where paper comes in. I print out drafts in different colours of copy paper so I can keep track of their chronology and see in colour where I came from. Once it's on paper, I can cut and paste- well, invisibly- tape it - and it gets to be like a patchwork quilt with its different colours, only it's paper, of course. (Who said it's a paperless society?) I learned that colour-code trick from a report on Jacqueline Susanne's writing routine. I would never have pegged her as a re-writer. The point of all this at the moment is that I have not yet written my generic letter for the season. I'm still not writing but I'm getting' there. Soon.