I will write something today. I will write something today. I will write even one joke. Just one sentence. Doesn’t even have to be a joke. I will write one thing. One thing. One word? There. One word. I’ve done it. I managed today to create a schedule for myself that includes time to write. Because nothing says, “I’m a writer” like doing things AROUND writing, that are not writing, that I tell myself are in the service of writing. Intense successful people make and keep to schedules. Top athletes, top scientists, top writers (? – double check this.) They are strict. They have schedules. They get things done. They don’t just fly by the seat of their pants and hope. And that’s really what I have been doing without a schedule. I have been waking up every day and just hoping that at some point I’ll be able to get some work in. Some real work. Instead, I don’t. I don’t do it. I think about doing it. I tell myself I’ll do it. I tell people I’m doing it. (“Hi, yeah, no, can’t talk. About to write.”) Then, I don’t. I have so many ideas. I should put them down on paper. I shouldn’t be afraid to write them. Write the thing, make the video, do the joke. Then I don’t. This is the refresh (refresh number 78,7877.) This is the restart. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Again. Today I will be different. Today I will conquer myself. I will do what I have not successfully been able to do before. I will create routine. I will create habit. I will do the write thing Ha! RIGHT thing. See what I did there. Boy, it’s already working.
Writing is the only thing you can say that you do without ever actually doing it. It’s the only job/passion/talent where you can say “I’m a writer” and actually you’ve not written a word in like a decade. You’ve got all the accoutrement. You have a computer, and three notebooks, and holy shit you have some great pens. Terrific pens, and the non-acid paper in some of those notebooks WITH the pens, with those pens. That shit is amazing. It’s so smooth. You look at all that stuff and you doodle a little bit with your nice pens in your fancy notebook and you’re like man, I’m a writer. But maybe you’re not a writer, you just say you’re a writer because you’re a big fan of good pens. Construction workers don’t say: “hey I’m a construction worker, but I’ve not touched a hammer in a decade.”
No one says: “I’m a surgeon who simply cannot find time to surger.” I mean listen, you wake up in the morning, but the time you’ve had coffee and breakfast and let’s face it second breakfast, (hello dessert muffins!) by the time you’ve had all of that, and you’ve checked the internet. All of the internet. All of it. It has all been checked. By that time, it’s like who the fuck has time to surger. No one. What? Now I’m going to pick up a scalpel and just start cutting into people? I’m tired. I sat all day. And I sat in different places. I moved from this place to that place on the couch and I am just really exhausted now.
But with writing you can do that. Because “writer” is a thing everyone wants to be. A thing everyone thinks they can do (myself included). Comedy writing particularly. Tell anyone, tell ANYONE at all that you do stand-up, that you write comedy and they will immediately tell you how they also do that. Well, they also sort of do that. Well, they’ve also always wanted to do that. They always thought they would be a writer. They always thought that they would be, and that they could be if they’d wanted to, but you know what? They didn’t get around to it. And believe you me, if they’d wanted to, if they WANTED to, they could become a writer too. In a heartbeat. And they’d do stand-up, and they’d be good at it (better than you, is the implication) probably. They would absolutely do it and they’d be great at it, they just haven’t. Yet. But they still might.
And there you are listening and you know you’re THIS fucking close to being that person standing in front of you. You’re exactly one half-assed-writing-session-from-a-week-ago-where-you-were-mostly-on-your-phone away from being just exactly the same as this other person who tells you that they too are sort of a writer and comedian. So that’s the only reason you do anything. Because that’s really all that you have. That is the only thing separating you from just being one of the people who says they want to write – it’s the writing. So it’s terrible and it’s hard and you don’t want to do it and you question every line, every thought (You should quit. You’re not good. Did you see how many followers s/he had? You don’t have that many. Did you see how you’re the only one who didn’t get into that contest? Do you have a stack of rejection letters piled to the sky? Because you’re not good. Maybe just quit). But you don’t quit. You don’t, because you don’t want to be the guy at the party telling everyone you could have been writer if you’d only fucking bothered to WRITE something. And so you write this, because this is all you have.