Do you find winter to be your most creative season?
It always has been for me. There’s something about being more at home and quiet that ramps up my creative energy to flow into more artistic pursuits.
Maybe because I’m more still I listen more? Who knows. But my best writing, ideas and projects have all had their origins in this time from January to April.
Getting back to my previous post, February is when I’m in the thick of it. Ideas are coming so fast and furious they sweep me away. Like most of us, January’s work on planning our year get down and dirty in February.
The rubber meets the road. It’s do or die.
Sometimes I do… and some years I die. That’s honest.
BUT when I DO – when I take ACTION – it’s a great year!
My whole year is determined by what I do or don’t do in the first quarter.
Is that true for you too?
Scripting and Planning Only Go So Far
Like actors that blossom when they stand up and step into their character, what makes or breaks us is the discipline to take action and build momentum.
In other words, our routines can make or break us.
I’m working with two writers right now. Both are very talented and full of ideas for the new musical they’re writing.
- Writer A is mainly a songwriter and performer. He’s never written a musical before, but has a routine in place of coming to the computer every day after he gets his daughter to school. We meet every week like clockwork, on the same day at the same time, interrupted only when he occasionally has to tour. After six months he has an exciting Act One and is working on Act Two.
- Writer B has extensive musical theater experience as a performer, director and producer. She has a wonderful idea for a new musical and is determined to see it on stage. However, more often than not our weekly sessions are moved or often rescheduled to the next week. Life seems to constantly interrupt her daily writing schedule, rendering it haphazard or nonexistent. After three months of working together she’s still struggling to write her outline.
Your Routine Frees You To Fly
I’m the last one to deny that often I’ve been more Writer B than Writer A. But even so, I recognize that my routines make or break me. It’s not what I do now and then that determines my life, but the action I take consistently that creates success, or not.
Writer A is his own hero. He is creating his future as he sees it in his mind.
Determine your own priorities and responsibilities. I know you know this – I’m now acting like that nagging voice in your own head that sounds like your mother. (Annoying, I know.)
If you want to see your plays onstage you must take regular and consistent ACTION to make that happen. No one can do this for you. You can pay someone, but really, it is your baby and it’s up to you.
A Checklist for Success
- Write every day at the same time in the same place. Establish a routine that works for you. Make it consistent, day in and day out.
Plan for your own success daily. Once you finish one play start the next one, so when an agent or producer inevitably asks to see your other work you have something to show them.
- Feed your creativity regularly. Keep a journal or notebook to capture your great ideas before the wind blows them away to someone else. Do interesting things every week to inspire and delight you.
Happiness is a wonderful inspiration of creativity. Keep your inner artist happy.
- Network, network, network. Meet people in the industry and learn about what they do. Make friends with people from every walk of life – they feed your writing and may possibly become your chief supporters in the future.
You never know where your next coincidence will come from.
- Submit, submit, submit. It’s a numbers game. Keep it a game by challenging yourself to collect the most rejections of anyone you know.
Because the reality is that the more you submit, the more opportunities you’ll create.
- Keep learning and growing. Like an actor must continually keep his instrument tuned and available by taking classes and learning different styles of acting, dance, vocal techniques, etc., a writer also must continually keep learning and advancing in his art. Writer’s groups and workshops in person and online are available everywhere. Take advantage of them.
Not only do workshops provide inspiration and knowledge, but they also provide built-in discipline in the form of assignments AND you meet really interesting people from many different walks of life.
Best of all, they’re all free.