I’m not wearing them ALL this week, but I’m taking them on and off. I’ve been writing a poem a day since the first of July (see my poetry at ), working on the WIP (work in progress) mystery novel for the Shirley Combs/Dr. Watson series, marketing my paperback, and preparing for a reading of my latest full length play Just Like Tennessee.

This Tuesday night we’ll have a table read of my play at the PDX Playwrights meeting. A table read is what is known as a “cold” read, which means no rehearsal. The actors, or sometimes friends, or whoever happens to be at the table, read the scripts that are handed to them at the meeting and read them aloud. For this read, I’m bringing in my own actors, as I sometimes do, because it helps me to hear the play better. Having a new play read aloud is solely for the benefit of the playwright. We have to hear it out loud to hear where the gaps are, where the words don’t flow as they should, to hear if the dialogue sounds like it’s coming from the characters as opposed to — say — the playwright.

I love having table reads at the Playwrights meeting because the room is filled with other playwrights, and I know the feedback they give me will be helpful and useful. They won’t be stroking my ego, they’ll be trying to help me write the best play I’m capable of writing.

In that way, stage plays are collaborative even at the beginning. 

Every form of writing I participate in, I love. Poetry makes me search for just the write word, the right phrase to convey a picture, a feeling, a thought. Plays offer the opportunity to work with others to create a vision. Fiction is a more solitary venture, especially novels, but even there we have writing groups, readers, editors, and social media with whom to interact.

The days of a writer sitting alone at her typewriter, isolating, drinking, smoking, dying too young … those days are gone. And if they aren’t, they certainly are a matter of choice. 

I write alone in my living room, but I ask for feedback and input from others regularly, whether in person or in cyberspace.

What about you? How do you write? What is your preferred writing method? Do you confine yourself to one genre? Do you connect with others regularly? Do you have a muse?


2 thoughts on “ALL THE HATS OF AN AUTHOR

  1. A room alone, often with the shade drawn because I get easily distracted. Lately I have been writing almost exclusively for my blog, with occasional forays into short fiction. The playwriting process sounds like fun. Other people!

    • I know, other people — what a concept! It is difficult when you are a caregiver though. Still, we do have cyberspace and can interact here. We can find and form writing groups, be readers for each other’s work, and support each other in so many ways. I love cyberspace! It allows me to read your work again, Andrea and that is a real joy.

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