Watch What Happens

There’s a song in the musical Newsies called “Watch What Happens”. It’s sung by a young female reporter, Katherine Plumber, who is so inspired by the newsies’ strike that she starts to write an article covering it. The song begins with the lyrics: “Write what you know”, so they say, all I know is I don’t know what to write, or the right way to write it,” and it’s those words that I’ve been singing to myself lately, especially as I begin to type this out.

Writing is hard. We’ve all heard that before. You stare at a blank page and wait for the words to appear. There are some people that believe “write drunk, edit sober” (Hemingway) and others that attribute their work to the “elusive creative genius” (The Romans via Elizabeth Gilbert). There are countless books out there that provide insight on writing. I for one am currently reading “Riding the Alligator” by Pen Densham and one of my favorites is “On Writing” by Stephen King. I love to talk about writing. I love to read about writing. But for far too long, I have had a very hard time admitting to myself that I was still a writer.

A few weeks off turned into months, and I honestly lost track of any project I was wanting to focus on. The idea of sitting down with a journal or in front of my laptop seemed tedious and pointless. I was wasting time working on that play, that book, that screenplay simply because I didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew I wasn’t meant to be a writer. That little voice inside my head kept spewing negative thought after negative thought until I was so frustrated and angry that I would lash out for the most absurd reasons. Something I’ve learned: not writing makes me very depressed.

So now I’m writing again. I’m not sure what the turning point was really, but I’m currently part of a writing group and working on a screenplay, which is very exciting for me. It’s so exciting in fact, that I have decided to document my writing journey on this blog and on social media. I have started with just a couple photos this past week:

Could be?
Who knows?
There’s something due any day
I will know, right away
Soon as it shows
We dubbed it “vomit draft” because it’s the first few pages of a screenplay I’m writing and I just threw it out there. #writersgroup

And something’s telling me it’s important to share this process with people. Not only does it motivate me to keep writing, but it feels like a deep connection to share with others that might be struggling on their creative journey as well. We’ve all been there, and I want to be honest about the path I’m on. I’ve been avoiding writing for so long, that I want to shout all this from the rooftop to let people know how utterly thrilled I am that words are flowing from my fingertips yet again. It took a long time to get back to this place though, and I know I won’t stay here forever, but while I’m here I want to share it with all of you.

So let’s watch what happens.

Like what you read? Give Christine Drew Benjamin a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.