Well folks, I set a small blog goal for myself and actually followed through. This is no small feat, m’friends. Thinking back over these 14 days, watching & writing about Groundhog Day feels like much more than two weeks ago.
Writing every day actually changes time a little bit. It gives the days more richness. Makes them thicker.
The ubiquitous Socrates quote “the unexamined life is not worth living” gets a lot of play on inspirational coffee mugs and dorm bulletin boards. But I still ponder what it means for the life of the writer, which is inevitably one of examination. Only recently have I started to see this quote in a slightly different way. I think it’s not as if the examination brings up these products that are valuable and validating–it might, and hopefully it will. But the act of examining itself is the good part, the part that gives life worth.
So I’ve examined my heart and my ideas about love these last two weeks, but as a result I’ve ended up thinking more about the act of writing.
Writing is how I figure out what I think. It’s how I mentally doodle.
I surprise myself. I figure things out. I write my way through the maze.
Last night I saw the Justin Bieber movie (hells yeah I did! And I won’t apologize. See it, and I guarantee you’ll never mock the Biebs again). Watching the kid drum on a kitchen chair at 3 years old, hamming it up in grainy home videos, you just get this feeling that performing is what he’s supposed to do.
My relationship with writing feels something like that.
There’s evidence that I was a word ham when I was in preschool. “She was writing books before she could spell” kinds of evidence. I was also telling jokes before I understood the punchlines. I remember going to the diner in Sparta with my grandparents when I was really little. We’d just watched “Lonesome Dove” the night before, so when the time came to pay the bill, and Grandpa mentioned the tip, I announced, loudly enough for the whole place to hear, “tip that whore!!” At first I was being sincere; because I’d heard some TV cowboy say it, I thought this was appropriate. I had no idea what “whore” meant, but I discovered that saying it made people laugh. And that was a thrill.
I like writing about serious ideas. I like writing about my life. I like writing about what I observe. I like at least the idea of writing about books, hence this blog. But I know without question that what I like the most is writing funny.
I think it’s my new life goal to get Mindy Kaling to notice me on Twitter. I want her to take me under her badass-female-comedy-writer wing and guide me to a rags-to-riches development not unlike Biebs. (But with slightly less awesome hair and a deeper voice.)
The last time I was this blog prolific was my “Once a day in May” project in 2009. I revisited it today, and the post from May 1, 2009, was dedicated to my newfound nerd crush on David Wain. I’d found a New York magazine article where he describes a typical day:
Q: In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
A: Never the same, but often involves some combination of writing, walking, meetings, editing, shooting, laughing, debating, reading, watching, and sitting in coffee shops.
Two years ago I read that and thought, I want to go to there. And you know what? A lot has changed for me in two years, but I still feel exactly that. I want to be a comedy writer. Say it louder now, like you mean it. I Want To Be A Comedy Writer.
Does it become less scary if I proclaim it out loud (online)?
Does it seem less silly or more delusional to make such a ballsy claim?
I don’t mean to say I dislike what I’m doing now. Being a university writer who does voluntary comedy on the weekends is great. But saying I also want to do something else gives me a focus for the future. Something to strive for. A place to put my hopes again. Thicker days.
Put it on a coffee mug, folks. I’m inspired.