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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Monday (12/27/10) 9:05am - ... wherein Peter summarizes the Year in Writing.

Continuing with the 2010 recaps, I figured I'd go over the year in writing.

I'm shocked to realize I accomplished *anything*, writing-wise, this year.  Writing never happened in the foreground, and my accomplishments never led anywhere.

Mostly, I just wrote stuff for the blog, which is just about as inconsequential as writing gets.  I kept analyzing everything I ever watched or read in the Weekly Media Updates.  I wrote an amusing Spanish column every Thursday, and managed to squeeze out a couple dozen sketches for Sketchwar.

So even when absolutely nothing else happened, I still had that quiet baseline of output.

--

As far as I can tell, this year had four big writing projects.

First, I wrote a TV pilot spec.

This was the first pilot spec I ever wrote, and frankly it will probably be the last.  You use a pilot spec to pursue work in the TV-writing biz, and now that the biz has imploded and I'm too old to get hired, I have no further need for a calling card.  But I wound up with a piece of work I was proud of, and I got a cast of actors to perform it on the radio.

Then, I wrote a radio serial episode.

There was no practical reason to write this whatsoever.  But again, I got a cast of improv actors to come into KOOP and perform it for their audience.  And it was delightful to see something that started as a lark about Jorge Garcia's early career finally turn into something real in its own right.

Third, I cleaned up Bellydancing Ninjas so that the Art Institute could use it as a class project.  Again, we brought in actors from the improv community, and the 'long-form audio' class set us up in their three-million-dollar recording studio.  (Nope, still no finished product from them.  Yes, I'll keep folks apprised about it.)

Finally, I did a good chunk of writing for Starboat!, AKA the 24-hour sketch-writing contest.  We had one day to put together a 30-minute sketch show, and we somehow pulled it off.  Not only that, but we did a show with ambition:  we had a song, and a radio scene, and monologs, and costumes, and a weird kind of thematic resonance to the whole show.

Aaand... that's pretty much it.

--

I guess the big question for me, looking back on this, was "Did any of this matter?"

In a lot of ways, none of the writing I did mattered.  The successes I had didn't lead to further opportunities.  The practice I got didn't make the writing process any easier.  Most of what I wrote reached an audience of maybe a dozen.  And of course none of it made me a dime.

Then again, I suspect that writing keeps me sane.  It's sort of like guitar in that regard -- nobody ever hears me play guitar, but if I stop playing for a while, I slowly go batty.  I don't think it's a coincidence that I did my two big projects -- the pilot spec and the radio serial -- during the first half of the year, when I was damn near falling apart from both personal and work crises.

These are all silly, pointless stories that nobody really cares about.  But sometimes you need your silly, pointless stories.  Sometimes you just need somewhere to disappear to.

--

I don't know what will happen, writing-wise, in 2011.

I have high hopes for maintaining all the blogposts, of course.  But with luck, I'll be busy with a ton of improv in the coming year, and that only leaves so many hours in the day.  I'd love to write another radio serial for the Art Institute, but I haven't carved out enough time to get past the "staring at a blank screen" stage on it.

In a perfect world, I'll make the time for larger writing projects in 2011, somehow.  If I care about this enough, I'll make it happen.

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[User Picture]
From:majcher
Date:Monday (12/27/10) 1:10pm
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Re: Meaning, I'm totally with you. In the end, though, none of this stuff that we do really matters. If it feels good for you in the moment, or if even if it reaches a person or two for a moment, that's good enough for me.

So keep going!
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[User Picture]
From:gregstoll
Date:Monday (12/27/10) 1:20pm
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Totally agree. If you're looking for ways to spend your time, I'd definitely vote for "creating something" over "consuming something". To each his own, of course, but if you enjoy writing, no justification necessary!
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