Many of us have filled our days writing and editing new works as we patiently await theaters to reopen. Escaping into our created worlds has been key to surviving this unprecedented time. Though there have been challenging moments throughout the past year, it has been inspiring to hear so many success stories coming from artists about milestones reached from dedicating themselves to finishing their new shows.
As we approach the year mark of this theatrical pause, some of you may find you have landed on a draft that you feel is “stage-ready.” After weeks of editing, you just can’t seem to find anything else to change. You’ve shared your work with friends, gotten great feedback, and implemented all notes and suggestions, so now what?
As difficult as it may be, perhaps it is time to consider stepping away.
That’s right, close that script and leave it alone.
Now I am a huge believer in writing every day and even more so of the philosophy “You can always make it better,” so trust me I understand the difficulty in taking time away from a script. However, the benefits of giving yourself a break are immeasurable. Allowing yourself time away gives you fresh eyes when you finally do return to your script. Plot holes, grammatical errors, and other editing nightmares you may have missed due to familiarity with the script become more apparent after a little separation.
An editing break can be as short as a day. What is important is you give yourself a chance to recalibrate and return to the script with a fresh perspective. If your fear is you will lose your discipline if you take a break, try setting a specific date to return to work on your script and hold yourself accountable. Keep those writing muscles in shape by working on a new story or idea and continue writing daily.
Though there is still much uncertainty surrounding the return of theater, one thing is for certain: the need for new theater will never die. Keep writing and editing and allow yourself whatever time you need to bring your best to the page!
PS: For more tips like this and to join a community of like-minded theater professions, check out The Theatermakers Studio.