Creativity is more than a spark or a moment. It’s a process. And a process is a learning endeavor, and opportunity to cultivate one of our greatest assets: the imagination.
At present I am in the throes of preparing for this summer’s world premiere of my play Ultramarine Girl: A Cup Full of Courage. The process of producing a play that I’ve written has certainly been an exercise in creativity for which I am quite grateful and humbled to have the experience to partake in. I have had two other plays produced prior to this one, and each opportunity to witness a place and characters created in my imaginarium spring to life onstage is such a precious experience. It’s surreal.
This time, I wish to document the aleatory moments of the collaborative creative process in the months preceding the world premiere, and so my blog for the next few months is going to entail a series of posts centered on analysis of the facets and dimensions that comprise this wonderfully creative journey in all of its totality.
Get ready! This is the story behind the tale that is Ultramarine Girl.
Today’s Ultramarine tale reviews the creative process of writing a play with attention to one very important artistic tool:
How does the construct of “time” factor into the creative imagination? To an artist, time can be both “friend” and “foe”, but one thing is sure; there never seems to be enough of it. of Some writers like to take a copious amount of time to write a piece, oftentimes years. I wrote Ultramarine Girl in 5 weeks.
Does this mean it was easy? No. I had thought about Ultramarine Girl for over two years. I’m still thinking about it! I had conducted interviews, researched, and wrote and revised major plot points. It took a long time for the idea to identify itself as tangible and feasible. When I sat down to write, I simply had to trust my instincts. 1/3 of the way through the play I abandoned my plot point diagram and began to write from a genuine place of introspection. By the time I was finished with it, writing the play itself had taken me on a surprising journey; instead of writing a one act play as I had initially planned the play had unfurled itself into a two act play. I had written it in it’s entirety very, very, very quickly.
When I wrote, I’d write about 5 pages a day on a “slow day” and an average of 10 pages per day on a “productive day”. In totality, I would write about 2 hours at each sitting every other day or so. There were some evenings that I would write for more like 4 hours, but that was the maximum amount of time I’d spend at a sitting.
But time, ah time, it is so transitory. It is a construct. How does time factor into creativity and imagination? As artists we must befriend time and use it effectively to nurture our ideas. When time is underutilized, ideas can be lost and creativity can go unshared. When one tries to create something with too much expediency, the creative product itself tends to suffer from lack of attention and opportunities for revision and refinement.
Time for an artist is about decision. What creative endeavor exists in your own aleatory imaginarium waiting to be shared?