“In the process of looking for comedy, you have to be deeply honest. And in doing that, you’ll find out here’s the other side. You’ll be looking under the rock occasionally for the laughter.” – Robin Williams
I never set out to be a writer. I do recall a time in 4th grade where I wrote some weird Star Treky short story about some creatures called Geefnobbles that lived in Aghanistan. They looked like pink Tribbles only with flamingo legs. This is strange because I had never seen Star Trek, so at least I didn’t plagiarize it. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Smith (not an alias) being impressed that I can spell Afghanistan. Hey, I was political even back in 1982. Being recognized for my writing at such a young age let to shattering disappointment, however, because my spelling landed me in the Diocesan Spelling Bee. My moment in the spotlight proved too be blinding, as I stumbled over “icicle”, spelling it “I-C-I-S-I-C-L-E.” That humiliation taught me to never again listen to people telling me to pause before speaking. If only the word was Uzbekistan I might have had a chance.
I don’t have a burning passion to write, nor do I find it particularly therapeutic, as I believe poets do. I suppose I write because it comes easy to me. That should be obvious from the lack of style, technique, grammar, forethought, and editing. What I mean though, is what comes out on a page/screen is pretty much just me having a conversation in my head with one of the 17 different people living in there like hobbits. I’ve been told that’s what people like about it. I’m not out to write the Great American Novel, although I should try, because The Grapes of Wrath was really freaking depressing. I just try to be honest and make people laugh. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t.
When I took a writing course two years ago, I really learned where my strengths lie as a writer (Lay? Lie? See, I don’t know the difference. And I’m assuming you don’t either, unless my 5th grade English teacher, Mrs. Leo is reading this and correcting me with her green pen and giving me two demerits for improper usage. (Catholic school was no joke, yo.) I digress. I learned that I have a knack for dialogue, which leads me to my screenwriting pursuits. Also, having the attention span of a fruit fly, I can’t focus on anything longer than a personal essay. I’d still like to pull together a book of essays someday, but there are too many squirrels playing with shiny objects in my yard.
I understand humor is subjective. I don’t find Amy Schumer particularly funny. Many people do. That’s what makes what I do such a challenge for a natural introvert–the fear of rejection. I could never do standup comedy because the first heckler would make me burst into tears and retreat to the nearest cave. Blogging is easier if I don’t have to look at people. I get that many people feel that sarcastic humor is mean-spirited. That’s why I lean more toward sardonic stories about myself. I can be mean to me. But it’s all honest. It is born from humiliation and pain and self-healing and alcohol. I put it out there to make someone else laugh and feel better. That’s the point of comedy. Getting a reaction.
So this is my request to you. If you like what you read on here, give me some feedback. A like, a share, a comment. Let me know that I don’t suck. Because like Robin says, it’s really a shot to the solar plexus to put yourself out there, and then have to look under a rock for a laugh. Besides, there’s snakes there.