Does Your Writing Suck?

You want to be a writer. More than that, you know you’re a writer – you just haven’t been discovered yet. But others don’t share that optimism…what do you do?

For starters, you read this:

Found at Dreamstime.Com

Found at Dreamstime.Com

by Joleene Moody

When I was in college, I wrote a farce for the stage. It was weak, at best, because I couldn’t come up with a decent ending. I don’t want to destroy my reputation here, but the first ending had an alien kidnapping the protagonist during Christmas Eve dinner. (Please don’t delete me from your network. I was only 21 and likely under the influence.)

Knowing it was a bullshit ending, I threw my stage play in a box with some other scribblings where it sat for 15 years. In that time I worked as a television reporter and anchor in the city of Syracuse, chasing criminals and crooked politicians, all the while pretending that writing two-minute news stories twice a day was enough to satisfy my muse.

It was not.

I should tell you that since I boxed my play up in 1997, I’d been thinking of an ending to bring my play full circle. For 15 years, I pondered it. I’m not even kidding. I mean, I wasn’t obsessed with it, but when the holidays would roll around I would look for the magical ending. I even went so far as to ask people, “What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had happen to you during a family holiday meal?”

The most I got was someone’s aunt falling down the stairs. Pfft.

Then one day during a zumba class, the ending came to me. I don’t know why, it wasn’t even Christmas. I don’t think I was even thinking about the script as I bounced around that room, but I will tell you I couldn’t get out of there fast enough to write it down. I keep paper and pen in my car, so the second I got behind the wheel, I wrote it down.

That was in 2012.

In November of that year, I spent all of Thanksgiving break rewriting the entire script, new ending included.

In January of 2013, I submitted my play to five theatres: two in New York, two in Buffalo and one in Syracuse.

In the summer of 2013, the head director of the CNY Playhouse in Syracuse sent me a message to tell me one of the other directors wanted to direct my play Christmas of 2014.

I nearly died.

One of the greatest things we experience as writers of stage and screen is the moment we are able to watch our work unfold. That’s why we write, right?

(I’ve been dying to put those two words together like that.)…

Read it all at Stage 32