With the play over, and the next chapter of the life of Tedwords finally under way, one of things I've been determined to do is to focus more on my writing. This week, I made great progress in editing my Late Night manuscript, which my agent had asked me to update back in January. this week, I edited 200 pages, and the good news is, the technology didn't need to be updated half as much as I was fearing.
I have plans on where to go with Late Night, but possibly that's better left unsaid. Let's just say I have a rough outline of what I'd like to do with my life, and leave it at that.
In the meantime, one other writing goal was to spend more time writing letters. Yes, writing. My friend fixnwrtr has been maintaining a steady correspondence with me for over a year now, but during the course of directing the play, that correspondence became entirely one-sided.
In fact, I have to confess, by the time the play was over, I had a small stack of letters from her, unopened. They would stare at me at nights, making me feel guilty.
One of the first things I did after the play ended was to go through them, one after the other. And then, I made it a point to actually write to her in response. In the past month, I've managed to send out three letters. Actual letters, too, with actual pages attached.
I have to admit, when I first started, my letter writing skills were nothing to (pardon the pun) write home about. My handwriting had deteriorated terribly through the years, through disuse. I mean, who actually writes any more? Aside for the first drafts of my manuscripts (and let's face it, there haven't been any of those in a few years) and a few attempts at morning journaling, not this guy.
As a result, my first few letters were cramped, messy. I can only imagine poor J. trying to struggle through them. I have a weird enough handwriting style as it is, a helpless hodgepodge of lower case mixed with upper case. Throw in sloppiness as a result of disuse and it's a wonder poor J. didn't just rip them up and scatter them to the winds.
I've been seeing progress. The letter that I just finished was actually legible, I think. The letters were large, the o's and the g's perfectly formed (for the most part.) I even attempted my favorite signature at the end of my letter, along with a tiny Ted cartoon.
The truth is, letter writing feels good. Like journaling, but in a different way. It's different than electronic journaling (like Live Journal) because it's all by hand, and that feels more personal, for some reason. It's different than personal journals because it's not simply one sided, which has been one of the problems with personal journals I've had over the years. I don't WANT to just write stories to myself. I want other people to read them, comment upon them. I like the two-way discourse (even if I'm not always so great on keeping up my side of the conversation.)
And I like the process of letter writing. The smell of the ink. The feel of the pen in the hand, The struggle to fill the page, the process of addressing a letter. Yes, even the licking of stamp. Definitely the satisfying feeling of placing the letter in the mailbox. It's like sex, only it lingers longer.
What I do find, however, is that life only hands you so much time, and it's hard to keep up with everything. Between editing the book, letter writing, Facebook, Live Journal, Blogspot, not to mention email, there are just too many ways to communicate these days. Forget Twitter. Something has to give, and I find Twitter to be way too limiting. The only time I actually use it is to promote a story, if I feel I have a good one worth telling. That hasn't happened in a month or so, frankly.
Am I the only one who feels that there's too much of a good thing out there? How do other people do it? When I'm at work, I find it practically impossible to keep up with everything.
Maybe my retirement from theater will help things. At least, that's one of the goals. In the meantime, I'm just grateful that this week has given me some ability to feel a bit more organized...at least, on the writing side of things.