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Never give up on an idea…

June 30, 2009

I try not to discard any writing ideas. Even old manuscripts. Because you never know when you may use the idea, recycle it,  regenerate it.

This year, I finished a radio play I started to write 14 – 15 years ago. The original writing was so old that I only had a print-out of it – but I had kept a paper copy of every scene I’d written, every journal entry I’d composed that related to it, and all my research. 14 years ago, the time was not right for me to finish the play. The emotion was still so raw and I had no resolution to the piece.  Now as time has passed, and my wounds have healed, I have resolution.

Each year Nambucca Valley Writers Group has a writing competition, and each year explores a different form of writing. The first year was poetry, and I came 1st and 2nd with a couple of collage poems. The second year was non-fiction writing. Third year was short stories. This year was performance writing, a broad title which covered monologues, plays, screenplays and radio plays.  The restriction was that the piece needed to be no more than ten minutes, and was to be submitted in script form.

A week before the deadline, I pulled out the notes and rough scenes for my play Members Only. I decided to leave the political out — I think I’d been focusing on the big picture too much 14 years ago — and strip it right back to the personal, back to the raw emotion, and then focus on the resolution.  The time constraint made it necessary to strip it right back, not to waffle in the politics.

Stripped back, the piece became very powerful and very confronting. And very personal.

One woman’s nightmare.

Every woman’s nightmare.

My nightmare.

I submitted the play, slightly fearful of having put so much of myself onto the paper. But it was also cathartic. A release. And a sign that I was finally healed.

Good things can come from bad things. Good things can come from being brave.

The competition results were announced at our AGM on Saturday. I won 2nd prize.

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A certificate, bottle of champers and some choccies. And validation. And peace.


But it seemed that the presentation wasn’t over.  Apparently in my absence at the last meeting due to the floods, they’d talked about me. And decided that as I was ‘the world’s best secretary’ (especially with the online stuff), I deserved another award.

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This time, handmade choccies from Bowraville. It’s a good thing that I don’t live there, because these are truly decadent. The first one I ate was in the shape of a lolly and had sherbert inside it. Yummy.

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There are still a few left. But only just.

So at the moment, I’m feeling very loved, validated as a writer, justified in being brave, and full of chocolate.

And panicked that the 50ks in 30 days deadline is less than 24 hours away, and I’m just shy of 30ks.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2009 3:38 am

    Congrats on having the courage to redo your radio play and that it has helped you heal. And of course for round of applause for your 2nd prize.

    And of course, I only see part of what you do for other writers and from that i see that you deserve the best secretary award!

  2. June 30, 2009 10:22 am

    Diane, it certainly pays to keep your old work, and this is an example of why.

    Well done in having the courage to work on something that was obviously very painful for you 🙂

  3. June 30, 2009 10:37 am

    Way to go Diane! Good to see you winning awards and taking chances with your writing.

  4. Karina permalink
    July 4, 2009 12:25 am

    well done !!!!!

  5. July 4, 2009 2:09 pm


    If there is enough distance between the emotion and MEMBERS ONLY to permit others to peak in, a reading – even excerpts – would be welcome.

    Best regards, congratulations on the prize, and kudos for allowig a pieces to find its proper moment,

    William E. Spear

    # 30 #

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