T. James Belich

2010: The Year in Review

The last week of December, with Christmas behind us and the New Year still ahead, is always for me a reflective time. I'm always conscious of what was and was not accomplished during the past year (and somehow it usually feels like I could have done more) which gets me thinking about what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.

At the start of 2010 I set myself the goal of completing drafts of five plays, at least three of which had to be brand-new drafts for which I had not yet written a word (the other two could either be new or completing a draft that had been started). The idea was to spend as much of the year as I could writing without worrying about how good something was. The results? I wrote and revised The Captain's Treasure, my commedia play, completed the rough draft of a novel adaptation, wrote a rough draft for the tentatively-titled My Wife, the Dictator, wrote the rough draft for a new mystery play, and wrote a rough draft for my play about the folk tales of Antarctica (which as of today I'm about two-thirds of the way through revising). In addition I participated in NaNoWriMo again and succeeded in writing a little more than 50,000 words in 30 days. A lot of what I wrote this year I don't know that I like, but at least I was writing. And I've learned that even if a piece is abandoned because it really isn't going anywhere, no word written is ever wasted. It's all practice and if nothing else makes you a better writer the next time you put pen to paper.

It is immensely gratifying to look back on the year and to see how much writing I did. Not to mention to see all the submissions that I've been doing along the way pay off. 2010 was the year where my 10-minute plays finally began to see some productions, plus after a heavy round of submissions for The Princess and the Moon it had not one but two productions this year as well. All in all I saw productions around the US, as well as around in world in places like Suriname and the Philippines.

All this makes me excited for what 2011 will bring and what next steps can be taken. After doing NaNoWriMo two years in a row, I find myself wanting to spend more time working on a novel this year so that may soon be on the horizon once the Antarctica play is complete.

And of course 2010 also saw the arrival of my son Jasper who continues to delight and amaze Kelly and I every day. Definitely the year's biggest accomplishment. :D

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