My 2018 Goals: February

Here's an update on where I stand with my 2018 writing goals!

To recap, my goals this year include:

  • read one play per day on the New Play Exchange
  • submit to at least 10 opportunities per month, for a total of at least 120 submissions in 2018
  • write one page per day of anything at all
  • complete a new 10-minute play per month
  • complete a new 1-act play per quarter
  • complete a rough draft of at least two full-length plays

These goals aren't turning out to be as rigorous as I expected them to be. (To be fair, I work retail and have the eeeeeeasiest schedule in the world, which gives me plenty of time to achieve my actual adult goals.)

In February, I adjusted my play/day reading goal to be specifically targeted to reading plays by black female playwrights. That goal was the easiest and most enjoyable goal I met, I have to say -- I was introduced to SO MANY kick-ass female playwrights whose work I'm now obsessed with.

So how did I do in February?

  • 27 submissions (bringing the 2018 total to 51 -- that's over 50% of my entire 2017 submissions!)
  • Instead of working on a new 10-minute play, I wrote a 5-page play for #TheatreActionGunControl (A HOLY WORD)
  • I read 39 plays on NPX (2018 total: 89)
  • I collaborated with other playwrights (Rachael Carnes! Sharai Bohannon! Diana Burbano! Greg Burdick! -- honestly cannot even believe I got to play around with these extraordinary playwrights) for Paula Vogel's yearly Bake Off! This year we cowrote a weird little play based on Alfred Jarry's UBU ROI
  • I started drafting a very strange new full-length horror play
  • I got involved in a virtual playwriting workshop spearheaded by Rachael Carnes
  • I became a mentor for the Muse of Fire Project, an after-school program that teaches kids to write ten-minute plays that we perform at the end of the semester

Also, not to be a total **~*BrAgGeRt~*~~* or anything but Queen Paula RTed me this month, soooooooo I'm basically a god now.

I also got to see my mentor, Stacey Isom Campbell's, brand new play WHEN MOUNTAINS MOVE, which she had commissioned just over a year ago by my alma mater. WOW. So beautiful and moving and musical and empowering and gorgeous. (Hopefully she'll upload the script onto NPX sometime soon so everyone has a chance to experience it.)

I got to meet Stacey's dramaturg for the play, Heather Helinsky, who honestly works more than is humanly possible so I can only conclude that she is some kind of time-traveling goddess, or that she's somehow evolved beyond the need for sleep. If you're looking for a dramaturg, definitely get in touch with her. She's wonderful.

The community-building aspect of my work last month was so rewarding. Playwriting can be a lonely business if, like me, you live in an area of the country with rather limited opportunities for theatre involvement.

A new goal for March is to stage a group of #TheatreActionGunControl plays that Rachael Carnes organized -- 20 playwrights contributed 1-5 minute pieces to create a full-length work about school shootings since Columbine. I'm working with a venue here in Chattanooga to (hopefully, fingers crossed) stage a reading of these pieces coinciding with the school walkouts and marches going on across the country. More information about that as we get organized.

Here's some failure!

  • Once again, I neglected my one-act play, ASSISTED LIVING -- I just feel kind of bored with it, to be honest. Hopefully March will renew my interest in these precious characters, who are just waiting to find out what they do next.
  • REJECTIONS: 8!! (As I just reminded myself, these rejections are evidence that I'm submitting my cute lil pants off.)
  • I didn't write a page per day... not even close. To be honest, I blame A HOLY WORD... it's been extremely difficult to dive into other projects after working on this piece because my heart needs a chance to heal. (At some point, I'll write more about the process of working on that piece, my first documentary-style play... but jesus, I still cry every time I think about these kids, and the kids in Parkland. So I'm gonna need another minute.)

So talk to me about your goals, your failures, your submissions, your rejections, your reactions to the shooting in Florida, or any other ol thing you want.