At the Beginning of this year I had to go back to Port Elizabeth, South Africa to write my two exams because last year there were strikes about Fees must Fall and many of my classes were missed and cancelled. As students we were given options to either write all your exams in December or write some exams in December and the remaining in January the following year (2017) or write all your exams in January (2017). I decided to write two in December 2016 and the remaining two in January 2017.
So I came and wrote my two remaining papers and for that time I crashed at a friend’s place. After a while waiting for my results all I did was browse Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because I literally had nothing to do. One day I was going through my Facebook and I came across The Herald live Port Elizabeth post about a writing competition. The competition was about play scripts which is something I have never done before…something I had no idea about. So I figured oh well why should I be worrying myself too much about this I don’t even know where to start… at the time I was on my last chapter of my upcoming thriller novel THE KILLER IN HER CLOSET. It was my only focus, but all of a sudden as I closed my Facebook this epic idea came into my head… everything connected in my mind. It shocked me that it was this feeling I just couldn’t explain. I ignored it at first but it kept coming to me and the idea became bigger, I could see it right in front of me but I kept telling myself I’m no playwright. Two days passed and the idea of that epic story was still there and sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night because the idea woke me up… literally it was just pushing me to start typing. Right then I woke up and checked the Herald live page again. I read it couple of times and the submission date was like the 12th of February and I only had a few days to write a full play script and submit it.
That night I started googling the basic rules of writing a script. All I had was Google and this epic idea in my mind. I spent almost 3 hours learning the rules of play writing. Then I started typing and everything just came together. I was surprised at how everything connected. I kept writing and the whole script came together. I wrote every day, up to 8 hours each day. Each an everyday I hoped my story was making sense and the structure was good. After writing each Act I would ask a friend to read and give me feedback. He did so and gave me an honest opinion. He was brutal some days and I would feel horrible, like what I wrote could never win anything but now I realize his critical eye helped make me a better writer. I listened to his suggestions and continued writing and editing. The day of the submission came and I was reluctant to submit. I kept thinking maybe my script wasn’t good enough. Who would be interested in this type of story?
But then again I thought what could possibly go wrong if I submit this… nobody will ever know. I needed to do this for me and no one else, to prove I could. I opened my email and attached my first ever play script. I looked at the send button for a while and finally I pressed it and submitted.
After the submission I had all sorts of feelings like what the hell did I just submit… oh maybe I will make it to the next round… oh no my play is too short… dang I finished this in such a short time does that mean it’s horrible? All those thoughts came at once. I waited and waited and finally went back home to Botswana so I would stop thinking about the whole thing because I was getting so anxious. A couple of weeks passed while I was in Botswana and in mid-March I still hadn’t heard from the competition people. I gave up on waiting and wanted to forget about the whole thing. But then I received a text from the coordinator saying my play script has made it into top 3 finalists who will have their plays compete on the 1st of April 2017. This was unbelievable news! How on earth did I become one of the finalist was all I asked myself? I had so much self-doubt but I guess it was legit. I was one of the three finalists! My first time writing a play and my play script was breaking through.
I have plans to write more scripts because my ultimate dream is to see more of my writing become alive. I want to write TV shows, movies and series. It only takes one decision to completely change your life. We often forget God has a plan for us and give up too easily on ourselves. This experience has taught me we all have to believe in ourselves more.
To be continued… More about my amazing experience seeing my script come to life for the PANSA competition!