“Write Plays?! I could do that!” 3 Common Thinking Traps – NPR article

This article from NPR was challenging and affirming. The first cognitive bias discussed here is “We overestimate our abilities.”

In her class at Yale, Ahn uses an experiment to illustrate this phenomenon with her students. She shows them a dance clip from the song “Boy with Luv” by the K-pop group BTS. After watching six seconds of the easiest choreography moves over and over again, she invites the students who believe they have the dance down to do it themselves. One after another stumbles.

“People can have overconfidence about what they can accomplish by watching other people do it so fluently,” Ahn says. When the pros dance in a way that looks effortless, they think they can do it effortlessly too.”

So many people tell me, “I want to write a play,” or “I’ve considered becoming a writer,” or “One day I’ll write this or that…”

My response is generally. “Great! Get to work! I’ll look forward to reading your first draft.”

But I also find it incredibly patronizing and quite honestly annoying that so many people think they could just be a playwright if one day they found the time. Please note you will never FIND the time it does not grow on trees or arrive at some stage in your life like an AARP card. You have to MAKE the time. And part of that “time making” is making time to learn about how to WRITE FOR THEATER and how to WRITE AT ALL by studying and practicing your craft with peers and colleagues and making time again and again – oftentimes at great cost to your family and other professional and personal obligations. And then, after realizing how hard the process is, stumbling, and choosing to still make time again and again – in order to be able to write well for a medium that is only fully realized in SPACE and you guessed it *TIME. It’s about backlogging hours and hours of work and discipline to write for something that’s only realized in the present.

The second bias discussed in the article is “We tend to fixate on the negative.”

Ok. We can do this folks! Let’s get writing and telling our stories! I’m here if you want to reach out and put in the time together.


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