advice for writers others and me

Thank you my dear, steadfast SquareSpace commenters, for your words of encouragement. As I swam this morning, I was already planning to write today’s blog to reassure you that  I am not going to off myself or my writing. Not yet, also spelled nyet.

Writers will tell you that when they start a workshop or course or seminar that the first thing the facilitator (lecturer, leader, teacher, whatever) will tell you is that if you’re in this for fame and fortune, forget it. You’re in it for the joy of creation. Yeah, yeah, but it really would help to make a living along the way. Canadian playwright Bernard Slade (1930; Same Time Next Year) said “You can make a killing in the theatre but you can’t make a living.” And it’s a well-known statistic that writers make less money than corps ballet dancers. Unfortunately, they eat more.

Writers are also warned that they must have passion, the passion and tenacity to stick to a project through thick and thin (mostly thin) until they finish. Canadian playwright John Murrell (1945; Waiting for the Parade, Taking Shakespeare) said he didn’t finish a play so much as abandon it. 

I know, I know, and that’s the first thing I tell wannabes that I teach or advise. I’ll trot out the truisms next week when I start teaching a brief workshop in play development at Ryerson University. The process is more important than success. It’s true. I am so excited when I have a new idea and so pleased when I can bring it to fruition - and so grateful when someone tells me I’ve done a good job.

I wasn’t phishing, but I do thank all two of you for believing in me.