Writing What Wants to Get Written

I was talking to someone about one of the plays I’m working on and they made a comment on the subject matter. “That’s unfortunate,” they said. “People are sensitive about that topic now.”

The comment made me oddly defensive and before I knew it, I said, “You write what wants to get written.”

I didn’t have time to think about what I was saying, but as soon as it came out, I realized it was true. For me, anyway.

Occasionally, I’ll find myself working on a play that feels unlike what I consider a typical play of mine. But some impulse makes me want to write it anyway. It doesn’t always go further than a draft or two, but the effort must be made to write it out and tell the story.

It reminds me of the idea that some sculptors consider themselves not a creator of the piece of art, but the facilitator to release the image that is contained within the stone or wood. The piece of art exists already and you are just helping bring it into the world.

Who knows where ideas come from? And what makes one better than another? Or why an idea might capture my impulse to write it or tell it, but leaves someone else cold?

I just know that I’m working on two plays right now. One that I’ve wanted to write for a while and another one that is not a typical story of mine, but it wants to get written.

© 2019 Peter Gruner

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