I think I tried to skip a step in my role as writer/director of my one-act play this summer. After the writing, the try-outs, the casting, the blocking, the 6+ weeks of rehearsals, all the tech stuff, and scouring the thrift shops for props, ad infinitum, we had our glorious Three-Performance Weekend.

And then, as I proclaimed in my August 31 blog entry, “it was over,” and I was already looking for “whatever’s next” to tackle.

But there was an integral piece missing in the whole creative process, and I did not recognize how important a piece it was until it smacked me square in the nose.

It appears, after a play has run its run, that a period of “down time,” or mourning, if you will, must be allowed and even embraced. Although I joked about my “Post-partum playdom,” the ensuing depression was real. Where I spent my entire summer charging full-steam ahead into directing the best possible play, suddenly… there was nothing.

I spun deeply into the abyss, a void of mammoth proportions. I collapsed into a grand funk blue period, floundering around trying to get a handle on the process I had just completed. The tailspin I went into wasn’t pretty, but I realize now it was necessary.

Just as it is vital to whole-heartedly celebrate your accomplishments, it’s equally important to spend some quiet time of reflection before diving into a new project. Give yourself some quality down time to honor the energy spent in pursuit of your success, and then, when you’re sure you’re ready, feel free to set another goal and stoke up the fire.

Follow the steps of setting goals, working like crazy to accomplish them, celebrating your success, and then briefly acknowledging, or grieving, the void after completion. Honor your process.