Lesson Five



That’s how I started this post.
Without an idea of a destination.
Without any idea of where to take you all.
Which lesson to teach?
Which analogy to use?

And then it hit me!

THAT is what this piece is about!

Lesson Five

Writers’ block.
Those of you who know me – and, let’s face it, six posts in, that’s pretty much all of you! – already know that I’m a writer.
In theory, at least.
Or, in name.
I’ve written.
I’ve penned works.
Others have read them.
Have performed them.
Have watched them.
Yay me!
I have business cards that contain the word playwright.
So it must be true!
Except that…
I am NOT disciplined in this field.
I mean, to be frank, (or, to be Tash – #dadstylecomedygold) I’m not that disciplined about much (cue your little light bulb reminders about the reasons for my vow to refuse the pig and seafood products)
Even when I started out as a playwright, my plays told me where they were headed rather than me shaping them.
I didn’t write outlines or plans.
My words and conversations vomited themselves onto a page and then I was done.
I was shocked at the turns in my own work as I wrote them.
That seems odd.
And yet, there it is.

Thanks to a fantastic couple of projects I was involved with and the amazing and talented people with whom I worked and learned from, this technique has been refined a little.
The pieces that I’m currently making my way through have been planned and drafted and re-worked a LOT.
I’ve written outlines. And outlines. And outlines.
They feel much harder to force – sorry, shape – into something I like, but I have faith that the finished products will be so much more worthwhile!
… I hope.

The discipline thing (or lack thereof) is one of the big reasons for starting Shul of Tash actually.
It’s a way to FORCE myself to write more.
I mean, obviously I’m HYSTERICALLY funny and I had to make sure you were ALL AWARE of this fact.
And, I’ve spent my life being a lot of people’s “first Jew”, so felt this was as good a way as any to answer those lifelong questions…
But, mostly, it’s a tool to find a new self-discipline.

Apparently – according to Ruthy (and who knew, but that Mama of mine knows what she’s talking about sometimes) – in order to get good at something, you’ve got to commit to it.
To practice it.
To become disciplined about it.
It’s why I have childhood memories of my brother’s screeching violin and my clumsy guitar plucking. Practicing.
Whether either of these are good examples is a hotly-debated topic, but still…

To obtain discipline, we can need assistance.
Children can require a parent or extra special Auntie Tasha to guide them.
Exercisers can require the wisdom of a personal trainer in devising a regime for them.
Writers can require the help of their readers.
Or an editor.
Or a dramaturg.
Or all of the above.

Also according to Ruthy – maybe she needs to write a companion blog? – sometimes it’s good to ask for help.
Lend me your ears, readers!
Well, no. This is not an aural medium.
Lend me your eyes, readers!
Although, no, keep those in your head. Just use them.
Then lend me your brains, readers!
Again, keep them where they are, just share the fruits of those thinkings with me…
Are there things that you wish me to teach you?
Lessons you are needing?
Things that Ruthy can’t help you with?

So, my readers, my friends, my people…
Help me shape this Shul.
It is a place of learning for us all.
Let me be your teacher.
Your Rabbi!
After all, Rabbi means teacher.
Rabbi Tash.
It has a ring to it.
Or Rabbit Ash.
No, you’re right.
That’s better.
Let’s go with that.
I’m not yet fully qualified.
Rabbit Ash.

Anyway, I digress.
(Who? Me? Digress? Take a tangent? NEVER!)

THIS is the lesson:
To conquer a block – writers’ or otherwise – discipline is the key.
To conquer a block – writers’ or otherwise – it’s ok to ask for help.
… To conquer a blog – help from you is the key to my discipline!

So, THIS is the task – guide me in helping you:
Let me know which #tashtheories you wish to learn of!
Please post your comments below…



8 thoughts on “Lesson Five

  1. So, I’m having trouble finding the urge to reply, any advice…? (LOL)

    Hm, discipline is certainly practice-based – if you’re a writer then write! if you’re an actor, act! etc. Personally that’s tricky, being a director: need someone (& something) to direct – the something isn’t necessarily a problem (plenty of good writing to be had), the someone/s usually are as they tend to expect recompense, moreover it’s often the someWHERE that’s tricky – venues too require recompense and/or they’re too busy giving other people space (those damned ‘other people’, grr!)

    Makes me wonder, do lighting designers create imaginary lighting designs in their heads to keep their practice up? (sound designers can always twiddle about on some device other, musicians likewise…) – maybe they just adjust the lamps and twist the mood-lighting dimmers at home during dinner… And what do stage-managers do? organise paperclips? send out schedules to random friends? offer prompts for lulls in real-life conversations…?

    What is the advice I’m seeking…? hm, dunno. Just pondering the means of dealing with hiatus in creativity.

    Here’s a link to conversation with Simon Stephens when he was over here in Melb where I recall that he talks about his version of writing discipline: http://www.mtc.com.au/backstage/2015/12/audio-simon-stephens-in-conversation/

    Also, how curious that you should become a Rabbit around Easter…!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. but no requests for future posts in all of these musings!

      good thinkings though, laurencio, good thinkings indeed!


  2. Indeed dear Rabbit,
    feels more like a parallel blog musing than a specific request…

    I will ponder my lack and reply.

    p.s. are there other replies that i just can’t see or is this simply a two-way conversation…?


  3. Lonely old universe….!

    So, if I were to start a blog – and I mean IF!! – what advice would the Rabbit offer…?


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