Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year, New Plan by Marisela Treviño Orta

Meet our Resident Playwright Marisela Treviño Orta as she attempts to declare Victory in the New Year!
“Without a plan, there’s no attack. With no attack, no victory.”—Ack Ack, One Crazy Summer 

George (Joel Murray), Ack Ack (Curtis Armstrong) and Hoops (John Cusack) dive for cover under artillery fire in One Crazy Summer.
That’s what popped into my head yesterday. Just a little bit of 80’s movie trivia and levity, exactly the kind of inspiration I needed to keep my resolution to write my 2011 plan. What plan, you ask? 

Well, it’s a new year. And along with breaking in my new calendar, this year I’ve decided to write a 2011 plan for my playwriting career. 

That’s right, a plan. 

I got the idea from recent Theatre Bay Area article “The Titan Award” by Dale Albright. Two of the actors featured in the piece mentioned writing career plans each year to help them map out their goals.

That got me thinking.  

At my day job we write a yearly work plan (a very extensive one) that includes goals, activities and measures. What if, this year, I write out my own personal work plan. I mean, I’ve made plans before, or rather lists of goals and lists of places I’d like to send my work to. But a work plan would be one document that I could use throughout the year to guide my progress in various writing projects and help me keep tabs on deadlines (both personal and for competitions).

Here’s what my playwriting plan includes: 1) writing goals and 2) professional/business goals. 

The writing goals. That’s easy enough. I have several plays all in various states of development. I have one play that’s ready for me to start sending out, one play that I need to finish some rewrites on, another that needs a second draft, one that needs to be finished, and an idea begging to be written.  

My plan will help me juggle all these plays. I’ll set specific timelines for when I’ll work on each play in order to make the progress I’ve outlined for myself this year.

Here are a few of my writing goals: 
  • Blog at least three times a week  
  •  Finish American Triage rewrites by January 14th 
  •  Finish second draft of Heart Shaped Nebula by end of January  
  •  Finish first draft of Wolf at the Door by end of April 

Then there are the professional/business goals. These include sending work out to theatres, submitting plays to competitions and festivals, going to see plays, reading plays. Here are a few of my professional/business goals: 

I’ve already finished a first draft of my playwriting plan, complete with goals outlined for each month so that I’m continually writing, learning and putting my work out there. And since this plan is written down, I’ll be able to track how I’m doing throughout 2011.

Ack Ack is right. Having a plan gives you a clear sense for how to move forward, how to attack your work. And victory? She is mine.

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