Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It Only Counts if Others See It

     Sometimes I'm one of those douchehats who take up a puffy chair or a table for hours at Starbucks while writing.  I don't do it often, but sometimes I need the change of pace and the pressure of sitting at a table with my computer can help my motivation.  If I'm having a particularly "ooh, shiny things are everywhere" day, heading some where like Starbucks can help focus that energy.  I don't know enough people in the area to be interrupted by people coming in and my fear of losing my seat and things being stolen keeps my ass in that chair.  One of the best pieces of advice I received about being a writer is "the writer stays in the room."
     The writer stays in the room, or in the coffee shop, ass in chair, in front of her computer, putting fingers to keys and words to page.  It's not all brilliant and it needn't be.  I try to write comedy, and it's not all funny.  But sometimes I amaze even myself how I can pull one funny sentence from pages and pages of blubbering idiocy about an otherwise serious topic.  Then I use that one funny sentence to build on.  I imagine journaling is scoffed at in literary or professional writing circles and because of that, I would never let anyone read my journal.  I bet most people do it though.  They might not admit it, but come on, it's part of the process.  If your process is to just put only perfect thoughts on the page, then eff you.  And teach me how!
     The part I don't like about others seeing me write is I feel a need to justify that what I'm doing is important.  I was out of the house for several hours last night and when I returned my roommate nonchalantly confirmed that I was at Starbucks.  Currently, my roommate is a subletter who is a social worker.  She is subletting from my roommate who is an honest to goodness writer; he is in the process of writing a book with a publisher and the whole nine.  Our walls are jam packed with books on foreign policy, politics, history, and the great things that plague the world and the human condition.  These are people who are living for the greater good, or are at least conscious of it.  When I walked in, my current subletter roommate had her computer open on her lap in the midst of work.  She kindly asked what I was working on.  I told her a sketch and then further explained sketch comedy.  She had spent five hours at the hospital earlier that day with a client.  I don't know what the client was at the hospital for but I bet it wasn't just to pick up some candy or because she loves how MRIs make her feel.  Roommate then had to bring work home with her.  I sat at Starbucks for 2 hours making lists of mythical creatures, parliament positions, and prostitute synonyms.  By the way, I really hope the Zombie Libertine is a huge hit.
     I have to remind myself of a few cliches every once in a while: to each their own, it takes all kinds, laughter is the best medicine.  If I wanted to be a doctor, I would have gone to medical school.  I don't, so I didn't.  I want to be a comedy writer, so naturally I went to engineering college, nuclear power school, and film school.  Now I just sit and wait for my brilliance to be discovered.  Which brings me back to my first point-  People can't see me writing when I'm inside my house.  I need to be out in public with the other people.  The only way for people to know I'm a writer is for them to see me writing.  Usually at a Starbucks.

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