when you can’t write

When you feel like you can’t write, for whatever reason, I always feel like there’s something you can do that is in support of the writing. For instance, you can talk your friends’ heads off about why you can’t write, you can research biographies of your favorite playwrights, and of course, you can always sit down in front of a blank computer screen. Even if the cursor blinks back at you with nothingness. Regardless, it’s something.

My roommate is awesome, because she left me an article with a post-it on it that said – “article about playwrights!” That made me happy because you need people who will encourage and support what you do.

Anyhow, the article was from a recent New York Magazine (April 18th) and was an interview with Rajiv Joseph, Jez Butterworth and Stephen Adly Guirgis.

One question was particularly poignant for me.

“What has your experience been like with other playwrights in the city? Are people more supportive or competitive?

S.A.G. – We all touch each other in different ways. A few years ago, I went through a really rough time and I couldn’t write, so I did something really stupid – I sent an email to every playwright that I respected. The responses were illuminating. Some people are more competitive by nature, and their response was “Do what you gotta do!”…..”But then I found a lot of compassionate responses from people I greatly admired, and I think, the sooner we can be there for each other – because it’s fucking lonely.”

-Stephen Adly-Guirgis

So. There are productive things you can do, even if you’re not writing. And, be compassionate. Listen.


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