Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I did not write today. I had to see my shrink at 11:30 and I got up at 10am so clearly my routine of writing in the morning was blown. So instead I came up with reality show ideas.
I work with one of the guys that created Joe Millionaire, Temptation Island, Trading Spouses and others. And I am coming up with new show ideas to try to sell to the networks. He referred to one of my ideas as "reality gold" so he wanted me to come up with a few variations on that idea. So I came up with 3 TV show ideas this afternoon before racquetball and I am going to try and come up with 3 more tonight. That should free my mind up and allow me to focus back on the book without, anything hanging over my shoulder.
I would have preferred to not taken a break from the book while I'm struggling so hard to keep hold of the voice of the narrator, but I was going to have to take a break anyway. I figured it was best to do all of the distractions in one day. Tomorrow back to the book.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Writing time: 12 - 3:30pm
Impression: What the fuck!
I ended up going to sleep at about 5:30am and woke up at 11:30. I just couldn't go to sleep. I was working on this blog and then I was just on edge. And when I woke up I considered not writing. I wasn't very tired but I just didn't know what the hell I was going to write.
I really am in new territory with this book. I tend to write dramas, actions, or adventures. I almost always write stuff with deeper meanings and those genres lend themselves to having deeper meanings. Setting out to write something that is supposed to be funny and then telling people that I'm doing it is like having sex in front of a large audience. It can take you to psychological places that you have never been.
I have an interesting relationship with comedy. Growing up my older brother was clearly the funny one. I seriously never even tried to be funny until one day in the 9th grade. I hung out with a group of kids and after school we often stood around in a circle while each of them would try and make the others laugh.
I never joined in on this because I wasn't funny. But one day I decided that I was going to be funny so I stood quietly listening and waiting and then finally I slipped something in. The entire group just stopped and stared at me with their mouths hanging open. The problem was that I didn't want to try to be funny and fail so I chose to say something obscure with a straight face. The problem was that they didn't know whether I was kidding.
Within a few seconds they started up again and again I slipped something in. This time they looked at me and they all laughed hard. And at that point I knew that I had done it. I had been funny without risking failure.
A year later I was on a class trip to Australia. There was a group of us that was waiting to go whitewater rafting and since I was a shy kid I stood quietly. The others were nervous so they were saying fun things to each other about what may happen on the river trip. At that point I interjected "or we could plummet to deaths. Either one." The entire group broke out into laughter and the teacher from Kansas said about me "that one does say much, but when he does, man is it good."
I think that enabled me to never put myself out there. So over the years my main type of humor developed as sardonic and absurdist. And now that I writing this book the humor I'm employing is strange. At this point I don't know what to think of my characters. I don't know if the style of speech I'm using is out of place, whether the odd way that the narrator speaks is humours or just non-sensical, or if the main character's emotionally and verbally abusive penis is funny or just a little sad.
But hey, either way I'm glad I started today. The pressure to start is finally gone replaced by the thought that although I've hid my insanity from everyone up to this point, this book will reveal me for what I am. I think I need someone to hold me.
So, tomorrow morning I'm supposed to get up and write 1,500 pages for a book that I'm really nervous about writing. It's not that I think that I will fail to write. What I'm nervous about is that I will fail to be funny but spend a bunch of time in frustration trying to be funny and then in the end not be funny. But of course tomorrow when I wake up I will be tired (I'm writing this at 3am) and my creative juices might not be flowing and nothing could come. Really it could all turn out to be very bad tomorrow.
I've never before written a book that is supposed to be funny most of the way through and I don't even know if I can do it. I wrote a movie that was supposed to be funny and let me tell you, the sound of laughter when the movie first screened for a real audience was simply one of the best exerperiences of my life.
I was way to nervous to actually be in the theatre when the movie started. I was in the the projection room trying to hide. But as I was talking to the projectionist I heard the sound of the entire theatre laughing coming from the little hole where the camera sat and I was amazed. About a year beforehand I sat in my room thinking "this will be funny won't it? Sure, people will laugh at this." But my lead actress had said it wasn't funny and I had my doubts. But to hear the laughter in the audience really made me feel good.
Now 8 years later I am going to sit in my room again and try to decide what is going to make people laugh a year from now. I know this process is supposed to be fun or something, but damn, I can feel my chest hurt just typing this. Please people send me some positive energy because the truth is that right now I feel like rolling into a ball and throwing up. I have never had such an intense response before, but man can I fail writing this one. God I feel like throwing up.
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