I did a little writing for “Say, Amen” tonight. I can’t put my hands on why this script don’t just flow, from within. Sometimes, I feel like, I’m “mocking the church” or I’ve never been a victim of sexual assault so it’s hard to connect with my main character, creatively. It’s not like I can just get on the phone and call a friend and be like, “So have you been a victim of sexual abuse?”….cause that would just be rude (I think). So I pull away from this script at any chance I get.
I’ve grown not only as a writer and storyteller, but also as a woman. I’ve been that woman and young adult, in the pews of multiple churches – as Jezebel herself reincarnated. So, I know first hand first hand what it’s like to be judged while attending morning service. You would think that my life experiences would help create more writing materials — not all of the time. For me, I’m motivated by my life experiences to write, so it’s definitely been a challenge with this script. I face the pressures of answering questions like: Will this production measure up with the others since I moved to NOLA? Can I produce this show here or will I need extra revenue to make it happen in Chicago? My faithful supporters of Felicia T. Simpson Productions have to be entertained, so does this new material/script provide enough comedy? I left Chicago with a bang in theater, can I do it again?
When I don’t know the answers to something or I can’t process what I’m currently feeling, I shut down. So naturally, I have shut down multiple times during the writing of this production because for me, it’s just easier to do that. No one will ever know what process I go through to bring my stories to life because that kind of victory, I always save for God in the moment when I turn on the theater lights, as I arrive first during a rehearsal for each production.
I’m sitting here damn near in tears thinking about the theater and I know, whenever I cry, God is working in my life, I just have to be patient and stay the course. The last time, my tears were for my desire to move to New Orleans back in June 2017, and I’m typing in the comforts of my home in New Orleans, God is amazing. Now daily, I cry for a chance to get back in the theater in Chicago or here in NOLA. I keep hearing that still small voice saying, “FELICIA, be patient, keep writing.”
At some point in this script for “Say, Amen” I experienced writer’s block, and I don’t even know how? Maybe I have been enjoying living in my beloved city of New Orleans too much for my own selfish reasons and forgot to continue to write once I moved here. But my creativity was far removed from me in the aspect of storytelling, for quite some time. I quickly learned during my writer’s block, that if I write about books, I could write and tweet all day long, but whenever I sit down with this script, I get traumatized every time I sit behind the keyboard….until recently….
You may be wondering, what did I do to get my writing mojo back? I simply reconnected to all the things that helped me grow into the writer that I am today: reading and writing in my journal. I started setting my alarm at 5am and got busy writing, posting more blogs on here, and tweeting away about my writing journey, daily. That regime has helped me get back to writing which is the uptmost important thing in my life. As I post this blog, I received devastating news that the father of my children passed away. My body feels so heavy with grief and the only thing that I want to do right now is, write the pain away.
The pain I feel right now is a perfect time for me to capture those feelings, in depth for my lead character. I don’t know what will come of this story, but what I do know is that after this storm is over, I will have another story to tell. I’m saddened by knowing that a future story of mine will become from the loss of my children’s father. But I do know that God wouldn’t allow for this to happen in my life and not help me through this difficult time and that this pain I feel is for a purpose. So stay tuned to see what other stories unfold from this moment in my life.