So here is my final post of the challenge. It's been in turn a liberating and frustrating experience. I've been shocked and humbled by the responses to what was basically a challenge by Aryeh Myers to get both of our brains working better. The only reason we posted it on Facebook at all was to make it harder to drop out or miss a day - I genuinely expected people to scroll on!
I've learned so much from this project, from the commitment, from the pressure and from the generous personal comments that have been shared by the readers. As I've started writing more first person pieces for potential performance I decided to use this opportunity to tell some of my own stories to you and assess how I felt about it. Some of them were difficult to write without hiding behind a character, especially those which I hadn't written or performed about before. It was actually very freeing to share.
This has really helped me to come to terms with the direction that my work is moving in, and I thank everyone who has taken the trouble to read the posts and especially those who wrote about their views.
My old friend Aryeh was the instigator of this mishegass (nonsense). His writing is a delight and his blog about the life of a paramedic was so inspirational to people all over the world that turning it into the play An Insomniac's Guide To Ambulances was a natural progression.
We worked on that together, and it involved true stories from both of our lives and a main character, Leo, who was a combination of the two of us plus a bit more besides. The show ran and ran and remains one of my favourite pieces. It was also my first push in the direction of personalising my writing with Leo actually saying my innermost thoughts about the madness that is insomnia. I've taken that to the extreme in some of these posts, especially the ones about my illness. It's exorcised a few demons.
Finding creative partnerships that truly work well is an absolute gift and I have done some of my best work in collaboration or competition with Aryeh. Often online at stupid times of the night when our incredibly supportive and normal-circadian-rhythmed partners are asleep. Thank you Mark Creeger for understanding the drive to do this and listening to my anxieties about it. Living with a creative is usually tough but as you are secretly one too at least we have the bonus of empathy!
While there have definitely been days where I've resented having to come up with something, as the last week sped by I discovered that I've enjoyed this process and I'm going to miss it. I'll possibly do the odd one now and then when the fancy takes me. I'm in the process of building a new website and have decided to put in a blog so that I can write like this when I want to - although probably not every day...
To prevent withdrawal symptoms I'm attaching a link to a short story I wrote last year. I hope you enjoy it!