Saturday, April 23, 2011

Taking the time to put it down...

We're winding down the final days of the Spring semester at Boston University, and way back at the start I wanted to blog and write all about my experience and bring people along with me during this phase of my life. It's an exciting time. Most people my age are "positioning" themselves for retirement. Thinking about hanging on to that job for the homestretch, dreaming about the house in Florida and playing golf everyday (nothing sounds worse to me than that.) I'm not ready for the rocking chair, not by a long shot. I still have plays to write, mountains to climb, people to love. Still so many places I want to travel to. Every day is a new day, precious, full of opportunity to grow and learn.

Today is Saturday, and I'm teaching a workshop on writing ten-minute plays for Write Here, Write Now. It's a program for the LGBT community, and the reason for it is in their mission statement. I want to help anyone who wants to learn to write. This opportunity came to me from a grad student at Umass, and as soon as I got the email I knew it was something I wanted to do. I never thought about the obstacles facing someone who is LGBT. To me, writing is so free. You don't need a license, you don't even really need a degree. I proved that with my career. I just wrote and proved to people that I could do it and for a long while they paid me a lot of money to do it. You just do it. I'm so excited to hear what my students have to say today, those first ten minutes when people are telling why they are there, what they want to do.

I wish I had been able to find the time (and the energy) to put it all down, all the steps, the up and downs, the joys and the frustrations, the disappointments and the anxieties. It's all there, a very exciting life. I would have like to have been able to go back and read about it, when I finally am in the rocking chair. But I haven't even been writing in my own journal. I used to get up in the morning, pour my coffee (I'd set the coffee maker the night before) and go straight to the computer and write in my journal for about a half hour, still in that dream state. It's what I told my students to do, write in their journals every day, if not at a specific time every day, but I couldn't do it. Between the marathon of writing two full-length plays in less than a year, and the weekly sprints of writing a ten-minute play plus reading three or four plays a week and doing the background research on the play and the playwright, teaching, grading fifteen essays every week plus rewrite, seeing theater including staying out late on the weeknights because that's when the cheap tix are, and just thinking and planning for the long-term (what am I going to do when I graduate?) I didn't have the time or energy to set the coffee pot the night before.

I don't know how some people do it. Right now I'm following this guy who as I write this is on the north face of Everest.  He's 69 years old and he's attempting two summits of Everest back to back. If that's not enough he's blogging. He's finding the time. Kind of puts me to shame, doesn't he.

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