I am writing a new show. Or more accurately I have been fudging around writing a new show. I’ve got two (actually more, but I’ve narrowed it down) ways I could approach it. I’ve started both. I’m doubting both. A lot. I feel I should be challenging myself more. That’s what people do, right? To progress their careers and become generally fucking super-marvellous universally admired writers?
(I could give you all my mind worms now, but honestly, too depressing.)
This morning I opened my diary to find a little note scribbled to myself. I make a habit of leaving kindly reminders to future Tina at the bottom of the pages of my desk diary. It said ‘Just write something’.
I wanted to cry. Past Tina has just cut through all the bullshit. I harp on about the importance of letting yourself write a shitty first draft to my students all the time. And here I am, not letting myself write a shitty first draft. I don’t know why I think I am exempt from this Universal Truth. I know if if I let myself write even 200 words, or a verse of a poem, one of at least two things will happen.
Firstly, I will feel better, because I showed up and did my work. Secondly, however awful I think it is, there’s a good chance that I’ll read it in a few days and think, ‘Actually, there is something in here.’ Thirdly, once I have something, I can always make it better. Fourthly (oh I’m on a roll), momentum. The hardest thing is starting. But once I’ve pushed the pedals of my bike around a couple of times, momentum is now on my side. Momentum is how we get places. Like to the end of a draft. A joyfully shitty draft, full of repetitions, spelling mistakes, gross under-researched assumptions, tenuous plot leaps.
I’m sure I’ve written a version of this blog before. No matter. The most important truths need repeating. May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you just write something today.
Tina Sederholm is a poet, raconteur and theatre-maker. She will be performing her solo show ‘Everything Wrong With you Is Beautiful’ on 27-30th June 2019 at theatrefest.co.uk and 12th July 2019, Guildford Fringe Festival. When not creating her own shows she helps other writers create their shows through workshops and one-to-one sessions. Contact her for more information here: email@example.com