While I’ve never exactly been stealthy about it, it’s often a surprise to people that, in addition to being a seller and e-commerce blogger, I’m also a playwright. I guess it’s because the two don’t exactly seem complimentary of each other: one is dealing with the real world of profit and commerce and the other with imaginary worlds of play and comedy.
I’ve actually got five plays available in print, three of which are traditionally published. I spoke about how I ended up getting a traditional publishing deal for my originally self-published play in this series if you missed it. As I mentioned in that series, I wasn’t looking to get a traditional publishing deal originally, one sort of fell into my lap.
That happens to us all so often in business, doesn’t it? We’re not planning on doing something but then things just sort of happen. For good or bad. And once the unexpected event hits, we have to decide where to go from there. It’s funny what can end up leading that charge.
When my play was first published and my author page on Playscripts went live, all I could think of was that it looked very lonely there. Just one little play, nothing else. I looked like a one hit wonder. It bothered me, even when the play climbed the bestseller lists where it stays to this day. This was a stupid way of thinking and based purely on vanity. My one play was selling better and being produced more regularly than writers with several plays were experiencing total and, yet, however illogical this train of thought was, it pushed me.
I wanted to sell another one.
I wrote. I went into crazy mode, increasing my output day by day.
When I got my second traditional deal only a year later, I sat back, satisfied, for half a minute before thinking, “Two plays is an awkward number. I need at least three to be a REAL playwright.”
My third traditionally published work came out September 2nd, 2014. I’m proud but I’m also smart enough about the publishing industry to know that traditional publishing isn’t everything which is why I’ve got indie published books and plays too. Before I sold that first show I had only two other plays in progress. I now have dozens of works in progress, a handful of them just about ready for productions and read throughs and whatever future awaits them. Many of these I may never even show to a traditional publisher unless I think they can give something I need and that’s fine.
But I can’t deny that my stupid complex about how my playwright page looked with just a single play on it didn’t drive me to increase my efforts and give a new purpose to my writing. I wasn’t just writing plays to satisfy my muse, I was writing them for a concrete goal, however silly it was. The work had meaning so I worked more and harder. And, only three years later, two if you count from when the contracts were signed, I’ve got three traditional deals when I never even expected to have one and my writing output has increased tenfold.
The thing about being a business person, any kind of ambitious person really, is that you’re always wanting more. Always driven to one-up yourself and do that much better. I should be sitting back, proud of myself for a job well done. There are people who dream their whole lives of getting a single publishing deal and here I have three. It’s greedy to want more when I’ve already had such successes. I could really slow down a little and no one would blame me. After all, who cares what one stupid webpage looks like anyway?
When I visit my playwright page and look at those three plays listed there and think of all the hard work they…
I mean I spent so much…
You know, it still looks a little sparse, doesn’t it? The one is a derivative work of the original play, that barely even counts, does it? You know, maybe four… no, five! Five plays would be better. Just two more and THEN I can relax a little bit, slack off and…
Uh, sorry. If you’ll excuse me, I have some writing to do. 😉