I took some time off from writing. A play I wrote was onstage almost a month ago, and I thought a break would do me well. It’s draining and wonderful and humbling to be a part of any theatre production, and this one was no exception.
The play is called Runaway, and was about a family adapting to the dad’s increasing memory loss. The script wasn’t perfect, but it touched a lot of people, which I wasn’t expecting. I mean, I hoped it would turn out well and that people would enjoy it, but I didn’t expect people to cry. I still don’t know how to process the audience’s response. Should I feel bad for bringing up such a heavy topic? Should I feel good about writing something that felt real to people? Should I try to write more in this vein in the future?
As I’ve been thinking about what to write next, I’ve also been thinking about how the words we write can deeply impact the people reading and hearing them, whatever the medium. As writers, what are we saying with our words, how are we illuminating, how are we discussing? How can we support, and love, dig into the dark places and be surprised by what we find there? I just have to keep reminding myself that people are complex, that relationships are complicated, and although love doesn’t always save the day, it does change us.