Right now, I’m going through the exciting phase of writing that consists of feeling like everything I write and have ever written is terrible. So that’s fun.
Despite this, I’m busy inviting people to see my next play, which is on at the Arcola this weekend for the lovely and brilliant Miniaturists.
Does it feel odd to invite friends and agents and literary departments to see something when I’m the midst of an existential crisis about whether it has any worth or value? Well, simply put, yes. But to paraphrase the well-known saying: I’m feeling the self-crippling doubt and doing it anyway.
I’m doing it especially because all too often I hold back. Not long ago, I saw a call for full-length plays. My first thought was: what a shame I don’t have anything ready to go. My second thought (quite a bit after) was: HANG ON A MINUTE I HAVE TWO FULL-LENGTH PLAYS I COULD SEND. It was too late. Sigh.
All too often I write something, and then don’t send it out at all because I’m not happy with it. Or I put work on and don’t dare to invite people in case they don’t think it’s the best piece of theatre they’ve ever seen. Yes, I am an idiot.
I’m not the only person doing this. And honestly, I think it’s often a woman thing. We doubt ourselves. We want to wait until everything is brilliant, everything is perfect. It never is. My friend Lucy Avery ran a whole session on the topic at the last Devoted and Disgruntled.
The solution? Well, there was talk of a campaign called Just Hit Send, encouraging women and all writers to just do it. For now that’s my guiding mantra. I don’t know if people will like my work. I don’t know if anyone I invite will even make it. But all I can do is to write an invitation. And just hit send.