Action verbs aplenty
I came across this book through a random Twitter link, bought it on a whim, and I love it. It’s a compilation of interviews with 21 different comedy writers, including David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day), Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development), Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks), Todd Hanson (The Onion), Allison Silverman (The Colbert Report), and Stephen Merchant (The Office). Some of my favorite writing tips came from George Meyer, one of the writers for The Simpsons:
“You have to be prepared. You need basic writing skills, of course, but you also want to have lots of raw ingredients rattling around in your skull: vivid words, strange song lyrics, irritating euphemisms, disastrous experiences that have been bothering you for years. To feed this stockpile, you need to expose yourself to the real world and all its hailstones……Experience as much as you can and absorb a lot of reality. Otherwise, your writing will have the force of a Wiffle ball.”
And on being hard on yourself for not being ‘on’ all the time….
“You can’t keep bitch-slapping your creativity, or it’ll run away and find a new pimp.”
Word, George Meyer. Word.
A couple of weeks ago I had an epiphany of the No Shit Sherlock variety, and it was: I need a work space. Since having procured childcare for Rosie three mornings a week, my routine had been to come back home, wander around the house until I found a spot near enough to an electrical outlet that was free of toys/debris/mounds of laundry and try to accomplish my various online tasks for the day. It wasn’t the best arrangement, and it wasn’t helping my productivity mojo, either. So off to the consignment store I went, and one small kitchen table, some light handy work with a Phillips head screwdriver, and a cleared off wall in the study later and voila:
I have a desk.
It’s helped LOADS with my ability to focus and accomplish things in the mornings, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I have a spot in the house that I can claim for myself. Now if I could only find a chair, I could stop spending so much time arm wrestling Luke for his and get to work on writing the Great American Novel.*
Having blunt bangs kind of makes me feel like I should call up my boyfriend Marc Antony and go whup some Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus ass. Which isn’t entirely a bad feeling, if I’m being honest. But I might start being extra careful around snakes.
*by which I mean GET A FREAKING JOB.