May 30, 2010

On Writing: “A Deep-Sea Dive…”

This week I’ve been immersed in another solo writing marathon in New Hampshire, cast in my current favorite Theatrical Intelligence role: Writer.  When Studio projects required my input, I stepped out of Baker Library and into my role as Producer or Manager. I have a quick-change-agility at jumping from Performer to Producer to Director and back.

I am not, however, agile enough to change roles when I’m writing. So it’s been a challenging week.

Dave Eggers. (Photograph © Maria Laura Antonelli)

Writer Dave Eggers was recently quoted in a newspaper article : “Writing is a deep-sea dive. You need hours just to get into it: down, down, down. If you’re called back to the surface every couple of minutes by an email, you can’t ever get back down.”

It’s the “…you can’t ever get back down” part that’s been killing me all week. On one of several breaks today to see if I could recover from “Studio Surfacing” as I’ve come to think of it, I chanced upon a slim volume of quotes from literary women.

The mighty Virginia Woolf came to my rescue: “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” Her words stirred my soul.

How fortunate am I that millions of pieces have come my way!

Whether or not I can take a plunge into an Eggers-like-dive after surfacing to answer a phone call or an email, I can arrange my pieces. Every single day I’m aware of one little theatrically intelligent moment or another, from an early decade or a more recent one. So that’s what I did today: began to arrange my pieces.

As I pondered and reflected, more pieces kept coming at me and it was harder and harder to pay attention to the phone. The emails are still waiting.

What a wonderful day.


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