Women With Vision

“Far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a storyteller — a keeper of the flame.”

— Meredith Bean McMath

Biography

Meredith Bean McMath is a published author, prize-winning playwright and award-winning historian who has worked in Loudoun County arts for over twenty years. Currently writing her thesis for a Master of Science in Arts Management from Shenandoah University, she is the Director of Run, Rabbit, Run Productions, Inc. and Managing Editor of LoudounPerformingArts.com. Her career includes history documentaries, contemporary and historical plays, articles, historic fiction novels, and management of the nonprofit Aurora Studio Theatre, Inc. Her living history productions have been commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, the National Trust's Oatlands Plantation, The Newseum at Rosslyn, and many other museums, history organizations, libraries and schools. Run, Rabbit, Run history videos have appeared on The History Channel and in Virginia classrooms.

Philosophy

“A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him.”

— Edna St. Vincent Millay

So why in the world do writers do it? After receiving the one-hundred and first rejection letter, why would Madeleine L’Engle take A Wrinkle in Time to the hundred and second publishing house? Are writers simply arrogant? Patently optimistic? Grotesquely naïve? Yes, yes, and yes.

I write, though the words go slipping through my fingers like wet soap, though the inner thoughts of a girl living in 1863 are interrupted by a cell phone call, though the agent doesn’t want it, though the play may never be published. I write because I must.

And when I visit a bookstore and stare at the rows of name-brand writers whose publishing houses buy them shelf space and oodles of marketing or watch a play so badly written that the uber-famous playwright should be sued for contempt of language, I weep at my pitiful condition.

But the act of creating story always brings me back from the edge of the abyss. I write because there are characters alive in my mind that want to be given voice, because there is a miracle in having something that began as a single thought eventually rise up and stare back at me fully formed — walking, talking, thinking, feeling in a world I've created from nothing.

When I write, I feel I'm a perfectly balanced ball spinning on the tip of God’s finger: perpetual motion, time machine, pleasure beyond description. Arrogant? You bet. The sort of rollicking arrogance that comes from knowing the pen is mightier than the sword.
Optimistic? Oh yes. I am addicted to hope. Naïve? Entirely. The rejection letter is always a complete surprise.

Will I start again despite tomorrow? Of course I will. I must.