For the last month or so, I have been drafting two plays at once. They couldn’t be any more different from each other. One is a fairly traditional naturalistic narrative; the other is, well, highly experimental. I like them both. The both feel hard to work on at times, though at times in writing each of them I have achieved a (brief) state of flow. They are both in different stages of development: the former play is on its second draft, while the latter play is barely underway.
I’ve never done this before. I’ve always written with a great deal more focus: one play at a time, one draft after another, one scene after another, from beginning to end.
This feels like cheating.
Actually, to be clear, it doesn’t feel like cheating: it feels like I might be undermining the quality of both plays by not paying full attention to either of them. I always have the safety valve of being able to switch from one play to the other when things get hard… which I often do. Worse still… are the principles and ideas I’m applying in one story “leaking” into the other? Have the plays cross-pollinated? Might each of them be compromised by maladapted genes?
Progress is slow this way. But I can’t seem to stop, either, because that would feel like abandoning whichever story I put on the shelf.
How have I gotten myself into this mess? How do I get out?