Sarah Michelle Brown – writing First Hand WomanEr, well, it was a different kind of love.

What I’m talking about is the time that I’ve taken to hone First Hand Woman. Yes, my journey is a steamy, 8-year, on-again, off-again romance with a laptop.  🙂

Here are 5 tidbits you might not know about my 8-year writing process for First Hand Woman:

1. It started out as a one-woman show. It sure did. It was going to be a little ditty for me to put up on my own. Then in that first year, the five stages of loss began to get extremely opinionated, and I had to separate them into different characters. Thank goodness. Lol. That would have been waaayyy too much for one performer to handle (well, except of course, for Meryl Streep).

2. After my second private reading of First Hand Woman, I had so many notes going through my head that I couldn’t touch the script for another 8 months! That was super tough to sit through. While “writer’s block” can be extremely helpful, it can also be extremely frustrating.

3. The play has been up at festivals in Montreal and Toronto, and I used these runs to really discover what the audience connected to most strongly. There is nothing like listening to your audience while telling your story.

4. I used to take the characters out for walks. Meaning I would try to see the world through each of their eyes. A friend called me one day to see what I was up to. I said: “I’m about to take the girls out.” My friend asked who I was referring to, and I replied (quite sheepishly): “Er, I’m taking Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression and Acceptance out for a stroll.”

5. The title of the play comes from the last three words spoken in it. Half way through, the women realize that they have become a second hand woman in their life. Their journey is to try to become a first hand woman.

Now it’s time for you to take action. I want you to make a list of 3 things that you are passionate about. Things that you could dedicate 8 years+ to. Got them? Good. Now leave a comment below and tell me what gets you going.

And as always,

Dream up,

Sarah Michelle Brown