I decided last summer that I was done with pursuing writing as a career; I was only going to do project that I loved - for myself. This wasn't to say that I decided to refuse compensation, or commissions, or anything like that - just that my paradigm of life purpose had shifted. I realized I was a career instructor-educator, and my writing needed to be for me.
Then I did another draft of The Bicentennial Project, as I'd already signed on to that project. Funny thing was, that draft was incredibly enjoyable to write. I took note. Up to that point, writing hadn't been a whole lot of fun.
I didn't get around to writing much of anything for myself until the last few months (wrote a couple of 10-mins, but that's about it). I had some breakthroughs due to my teaching and dramaturgy, and I felt it was high time to write that particular play. Since I knew that I had some very real and good tools in the proverbial toolbox, I had a HIGHLY enjoyable time writing that draft, too; I could apply craft as I wrote, but I also knew I could fix things with far less pain and suffering, after the draft was done.
154 pages later, I'm about to dive into a rewrite. I'm using Jeffrey Sweet's books, and John Truby, and Will Dunne's books. I've found these to be the most useful. I'm also reading my favorite plays that are similar in approach. I'm also going to do a bit more brushing up on the historical elements of the play, because a friend told me she wanted more from that, and as it's about rock n' roll, I'm down.
I like this methodology. But so much of it has to do with actually starting to understand plays on a level I didn't, before. I had pretty strong dramaturgical knowledge, but the combination of writing, dramaturging, and teaching, along with finding really key, game-changer texts to help, has made all the difference, because I no longer feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I'm not keen on that feeling. I'm an independent sort, with a tendency to want to do things my way, but I also have a strong respect for effective structure.
It is definitely freeing, in its own way.
I never thought I would just be champing at the bit to get to a project. I'm not saying I wrote a stunning piece of theatre, but I had a very big challenge, and I feel I'm meeting it. That is awesome to me.