My husband says I have too many hobbies. One of my favorites is playwriting.
I’ve been involved in theatre since I was a kid. For 25 years, most of my time in theatre was as an actor with occasional credits as a producer, director and choreographer. But when I went back to graduate school, I had a lot of required night classes and could rarely commit to the rehearsal schedules required for being in shows. Still, I craved a creative outlet.
One day, I saw that a local theatre was holding a playwriting competition. At the time most of my creative writing took the form of short stories and essays, but I had written a few one-act plays as an undergrad. I decided to write my first full-length play and enter it in the competition.
My play was one of four selected to be produced. The experience was thrilling. Suddenly, I was hooked on playwriting. Since then I’ve had ten other plays produced. Some have been produced multiple times.
What I love about playwriting is that it is both highly independent and highly collaborative. There is a lot of on-my-own, only-in-my-head work when I first write the script, but a script in a drawer or saved on a disk is not a play. To become a play a script requires the contribution of a producer, a director, actors, designers and technical crew. Whatever I have written is made stronger by the collaboration.
I’ve found that my favorite work projects are like that too. Jobs that give me the opportunity for independent analysis and writing, while still benefiting from the ideas and expertise of a team tend to give me the most satisfaction.
Currently I work as an IT auditor. The job involves a lot of analysis and writing that I do alone at my desk, but the overall work of the audit is done as a team. I guess that makes doing an audit a bit like creating a play.
Of course, people usually don't applaud after an audit.
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