It All Counts—Even 10 Minutes’ Worth

This month’s post is going to be short. By now you’ve likely read articles on how important it is to be creative and to tell your story, especially in frightening, divisive times.

It’s true. It is important, along with being an involved citizen.

But perhaps you’re feeling sluggish or blue or impatient or something else that’s preventing you from working on your show. Perhaps the show suddenly feels irrelevant—or too relevant and therefore risky.

If you haven’t done this yet, give it a try:

  1. Prepare your favorite tea/coffee/hot chocolate/smoothie/juice, etc. (Or order it if you’re at a coffee house.)
  2. Gather your pen/paper or laptop or recording device.
  3. Sit or stand in your favorite creative spot in your home/library/café, etc., your drink at hand.
  4. Turn on the recorder if you’re improvising rather than writing. (I assume you’re somewhere private if that’s the case.)
  5. Set a timer for four (4) minutes.
  6. Write or speak the reason(s) you’re not working on your show. Be blunt. Don’t stop until the timer goes off.
  7. Take a sip or two of your comforting drink. Now set the timer for six (6) minutes.
  8. Write or speak about a time in your character’s life when they couldn’t seem to do or say the thing they wanted to do or say. Include the words or actions you wish they had spoken or taken. Don’t stop until the timer goes off. (“They” can be you if your show is autobiographical, or they can be another character in your show.)
  9. If you want to keep creating (which is what you’re doing), continue.
  10. If you want to walk away, walk away.

Congratulations. You’ve done 10+ more minutes of creative work than you would have done otherwise. Maybe some of it will end up in your show, or maybe it will catalyze a new idea for your show, or maybe it will be clay that gets sculpted away. The point is, you reminded your brain and psyche that you are a person who creates.

And yes, it may be clichéd but it’s also true: we need you more than ever.

BONUS: A wonderful TED Talk reminding us of why actors, theatremakers, and storytellers are so necessary for humanity:

Thank you for reading my eighteenth post! I love your comments, so if you would like to leave one, but don’t see a “Leave a Reply” box below, scroll to the top and click on “Leave a Comment” or “# Comments” under the post title.