As many of you know, I am primarily a playwright. I’ve written several plays and I plan to write many more. However, three years ago, I put playwriting aside in order to concentrate on the writing of my first novel. Let’s be clear. It took me more than three years to write the novel. It took ten years. During the first seven of those years, I would work on the novel for awhile and then when the going got tough— or the Muse became Mute— I’d go back to playwriting. It wasn’t difficult to put my novel aside; I felt much more at home writing plays. However, three years ago I decided I would abstain from playwriting until I finished the novel.
For me, playwriting is easier than novel writing. There are many novelists who would say the opposite. I suppose it depends on one’s skill set. I love to write dialogue and a stage play is close to 100 per cent dialogue. Novels contain dialogue, but they also contain descriptive passages. Scenes and settings have to be described. The actions and behavior of the characters have to be described. The characters themselves have to be described. All of this description is, for me, challenging to write.
Several years ago, when I was in the clutches of the ‘Mute Muse’, I gave a talk at Toastmasters in which I compared the two processes. At that time, I was taking classes and workshops in novel-writing. I was plowing through a stack of how-to books. I learned a lot. I learned even more while actually writing the novel. I learned that playwriting and novel writing have many things in common, but that that the two endeavors are significantly different. In a future post, I’ll tell you what I learned.
The distant music seemed to come from the back of the house. Kay stepped onto the golf-course-green lawn and wandered past the front windows. They were closed and vacant. She checked for curious neighbors and crept around the side of the house. Smooth jazz drifted softly from an open window as she approached a redwood gate. She heard female voices behind the house, and she recognized both of them.
Excerpted from Age Matters by Peggy Dougherty. Look for my novel Age Matters on Amazon … but not quite yet.
Kay Baldwin is about to realize her dream of selling a screenplay–if only she were younger.
Soon you’ll be able to join Kay in her battle to overcome Hollywood ageism and a myriad of other daunting obstacles.
Look for my new novel Age Matters by Peggy Dougherty (c’est moi!). Coming soon to a bookstore near you.
Since moving from San Diego to Walnut Creek, California in August of 2017, I’ve had many opportunities to enhance and nourish my life as a writer. I now live in Rossmoor, a retirement community in Walnut Creek. I’m a member of the Published Writers of Rossmoor and the Drama Association of Rossmoor. As a Published Writer of Rossmoor, I was able to sell copies of my book at the annual Rossmoor Holiday Bazaar in November of 2017. I’m planning a round of workshops at local libraries and other venues to acquaint people with THE TEN MINUTE COGNITIVE WORKOUT.
The Drama Association offers a smorgasbord of classes, workshops, and productions. I recently participated in my first acting class. It was awesome! I look forward to returning to playwriting once I launch my novel. Yes, my novel. The novel that got set aside during the Purging and Packing Process prior to my move from San Diego. The novel that got ignored while I unpacked and settled into life in Rossmoor. That novel.
Is my novel soon to see the light of day? This author says “Yes!”
Commentary to Peggy D. Snyder, Ph.D. re:
THE TEN MINUTE COGNITIVE WORKOUT
“I found this book quite helpful, and I think many people will benefit. I like the way you connect this to a “workout” and keep the exercise short and focused. That makes it much more useful as it’s effective without an overwhelming investment of time and effort.
What I found most helpful was how your attitude that these conditions were normal (not “mental illness”) and could be aided by using our minds in this productive way. That went a long way to de-mystify the “problem” and make the solution more accessible. Your voice was always so comforting and comfortable! All of these aspects make your book more approachable and reassuringly useful.
Your whole approach is so engaging! I think from the title to each exercise, you’re making it easy and fun for the reader to use your techniques.”
Judge, 3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards
You can make your New Year’s resolutions a reality by writing them every day in the form of Cognitive Workout Statements. Fulfilling your resolutions will become part of your everyday routine. For example:
- I am working out today.
- I am eating healthy foods today.
- I am counting Weight Watcher points today.
- I am working toward my goal of (_____________) today.
- I am going to the gym today.
- I am enrolling in (________________) today.
- I am starting my (____________) project today.
Whatever your resolutions are, write them in the form of Cognitive Workout statements: Positive statements in the Present tense using the Progressive ‘ing’ form of the verb that all begin with the words “I am”.
After you write them, read them aloud or to yourself three times during the day and they will become an integral part of your thoughts and behavior.
I’ve seen some wonderful movies this year. Some are still in theatres, some are on DVD, some will soon be released on DVD.
LOVE AND MERCY
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH
THE END OF THE TOUR
THE BABADOOK (2014)
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND