I wonder what has happened. As I contemplate my concern, I remember my ex saying to me once: “I’m bored. I’ve made a mistake choosing you. All you want to do at night is watch TV.”
But it wasn’t watching TV that bothered him; it was the fact that we weren’t going out every night to party with friends. I am not a partier. I only recall that incident as I wonder why watching TV has become impossible for me. If I turn it on, my behavior makes me wonder if I have an attention-deficit disorder. I turn it on; I hit pause; I do some dishes; I turn it back on; I hit pause; I check my email; I turn it on; I hit pause; etcetera, etcetera.
I have winnowed my cable to two essential channels: PBS and Knowledge.
So after pondering what has happened and I conclude the following: I have developed confidence in my creative writing so I want to write more. Now I find staring at an empty MS Word page more satisfying than watching TV. But what should I do next?
I have written about what I know. Artist Survival Skills was about all I have learned working professionally in the visual arts. I have written about my past. Knock Knock was a fabulous theatrical experience for me, a lucrative one for the charity for which it raised big bucks and a valued one by its audience. And now, as Uncle Gus’ Monkey, it is bringing new adventures to Warren and me. And Trudeau, the Felons and Me is about the most interesting seven years of my career.
So what should I do next? My brain says: Write something that passionately interests you—a comedy or a fantasy … something not about you, adoption, loss or identity. My ego says: Write something that allows you to design the poster, props, costumes and set again.
If I can think of something and do it, it is going to be the hardest thing yet. So far, everything has been easy, coming from my own experience. I have always felt the greatest writing is about ideas. There’s the nub of the challenge.