6. In the best sex scenes, people often have something to lose. This goes along with the notion that sex is about other things besides sex. There’s a reason why we’re more interested in sex between people who are emotionally vulnerable, or cheating on someone, or trying to prove something, than in sex between two well-adjusted people who are feeling completely secure. A good sex scene is quite often suspenseful — like, if this doesn’t go the right way, someone is going to be in a bad way. If both people in the scene are trying to show that they’re in control of what’s happening, that can be more interesting — but so can watching someone who’s always in control give up control, and face the potential consequences.

—Charlie Jane Anders, How to Write About Sex Without Being Boring

Really helpful advice for the current play I’m working on.

Inspired by this site:

In 2014, I am building…

My body of work as a playwright.

This building—my body of work—will include a few very helpful offerings for the world, including…

  • a full-length play about Internet fandom, then and now
  • short plays tackling issues of sex, dating, and identity in variously real or fantastical ways

In order to build what I want to build, I’ll need to release/remove a few things from my world, including…

  • my compulsion to always say “yes” (sometimes to please) to social engagements
  • excuses about not being “ready” or “in the right headspace” to write
  • hours spent mindlessly on the Internet

Because what I really want to be known for is…

Searching, truthful, original work.

When things start to feel overwhelming, I will keep it simple by reminding myself that my job is simply to…

Write in a different way and engage with other pop culture commenters and artists—but it doesn’t swallow up all of my time, energy, and creative output.

And by this time next year, I will be so proud to have completed one big thing, which is…

A portfolio to submit to residencies!

And that is my plan for 2014.

(via bookish)

Writing Goals for the Near Future!

  • Set up a Flickr account to get all the photos from my plays in one place.
  • Update my Playwriting page (right now my resume) with more info about each show I’ve had readings and/or productions for.
  • Find an artist for an upcoming comics anthology.
  • Actually finish some full-length plays—being part of True False Theatre’s The Polygraph Tests residency has me aching to get more work completed and out there!
  • Convert a play script to a comics script, since it’s better served as a graphic novel.

[11:19:14 AM] Natalie Zutter: dude so momofuku has hot chocolate with charred marshmallows
[11:19:16 AM] Natalie Zutter: this might have to happen tonight
[11:19:22 AM] Josh Harrison: sounds nice
[11:19:30 AM] Natalie Zutter: but there are so many places doing hot choc! shake shack! city bakery! max brenner! how do i chooooose
[11:19:38 AM] Josh Harrison: YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE
[11:19:38 AM] Natalie Zutter: #whitegirlproblems
[11:19:45 AM] Natalie Zutter: HE WANTED TO PROVE
[11:19:47 AM] Natalie Zutter: THAT A HOT CHOCOLATE
[11:19:49 AM] Natalie Zutter: AS GOOOOOOD
[11:19:51 AM] Natalie Zutter: AS YOUUUUU
[11:20:20 AM] Josh Harrison: COULD FALL
This is what happens when I stay up til 3 a.m. writing—thanks to We Have to Talk About Kevin, which apparently undid me and broke down my writer’s block—and am punchy at work the next morning: I contemplate New York’s fabulous hot chocolate and quote The Dark Knight to Josh.

Early this morning I had a nightmare/anxiety dream that I had gotten one of my plays selected for the New York Fringe Festival—and it was about The Real Housewives of New Jersey, no less. We were at opening night and I realized, to my horror, that I hadn’t ever given the actors full drafts of the scripts; they only had unfinished scripts. I had no time to print out enough copies for them to take on-stage, so I had to call off the show.

I’m sure that this is a clear metaphor for my fears about my creativity, so psychoanalyze away. But also, someone please shoot me in the face if I ever try to present a play on the Real Housewives. I know that my plays use pop-culture references like Twitter and Leonard Nimoy, but that’s ridiculous.

Nine out of ten writers discussed when during the day they write. All nine worked in the morning. Four also worked during the afternoon. Three worked during night. Only one worked in all three times. Several writers described the afternoon as a mental dead time useful only for exercising and, maybe, editing.

Five out of the ten writers provided a specific start time. The latest was 8:30 am. Four other writers who didn’t give a specific time said, in so many words, “in the morning.” No writer described starting their work in the afternoon or evening. Several did mention that they might also be efficient working very late at night (and sleeping through the day), but that this seems incompatible with being a productive member of society.

—Cal Newport, How to Schedule Your Writing Like a Professional Writer

I saw this on Lena Chen’s blog and was so struck that I had to copy the quote over to my own Tumblr as a constant source of inspiration. I’ve been awful about carving out time to write, because I get into a vicious cycle of “I’m so tired in the morning, I’ll sleep in and go to work… I’m so tired after work, I’ll watch TV or prep for tomorrow’s workday.”

Right now I don’t have the luxury of having “afternoon dead time”—except on the weekends. So I need to stop whining and turn that time over to the plays and comics that are stewing in my head. Someday I look forward to being a full-time writer and being able to spread my writing time around more. Until then, Cal Newport gives me hope.