Twenty months or so ago, before I moved to Chicago, I was really interested in building a web presence, or at least getting my thoughts, creative or otherwise, out there in the tangible world of tweets and tumbls. Now, what with working and hanging out with my girlfriend and improvising as much as I can, I can barely find the time — or, crucially, the motivation — to care about favstar or reblogs or even cataloging my ideas.
A friend recently asked me to submit to his humor magazine. I never did, though I’ve had months to get my act together. Another friend insists I should be doing standup again, that I am clearly talented in that regard, but standup doesn’t frighten me. The last time I did standup, I won the open mic’s weekly championship. I’m confident in standup, comfortable with standup — and that’s why I refuse to get on stage.
Though I’m generally a confident person, I think, I can never seem to shake this deeply rooted self-consciousness that prevents me from doing anything cool. I know I’ve become a pretty decent improviser — maybe even a good one — but I can only seem to focus on the talent of my friends, which is staggering and often intimidating. Improv still scares me, and that’s why I love it. Twenty months ago, I’d never even attempted improv, and tomorrow I’ll finish my final graduation show at iO. That’s an accomplishment, never mind the fact — both the beauty and the curse of the craft — that improv is by its nature an ephemeral art…
I’m starting to think that the reason I like improv is because it prevents me from resting on my laurels. There’s no way to stay awake late at night and read an old improv set, to let nostalgia prevent me from creating something because I’m scared — crippled by the very idea — that the next thing I make will suck. My published piece was the first thing I ever submitted to McSweeney’s, and that’s kept me from even writing anything again. Will I ever be able to match that piece? The sad thing is, the answer is probably yes, but there’s no way I’d ever let my guard down like that.
I keep making excuses about having no time, and the truth is I do have an exasperating dearth of free time right now. And it’s also true that having a job in which I’m writing all day drains a lot of creative energy. But the bigger truth, the sadder truth, is that I’ve simply been denying, for as long as I can remember, that I’m a creative person and will always care about creating things.
So I’m sick of feeling sorry for myself. I’m sick of saying “I’m sick of feeling sorry for myself,” which I’ve said for at least a year now. I’m sick of saying “I’m gonna start making shit” and never starting to make shit, so for now — starting today — I’m going to accept the fact that I have dreams and join the rest of my fellow Millennials foolish enough to pursue them.
The first step is writing and producing a webseries, for no other reason than because it’s something I want to do. It will probably suck, and god will that feel gratifying.
- rulesofcurling said: good for you man. I used to think that the argument “you won’t try hard to do new things because you are scared” was bull shit - but maybe it is a reason we stagnate? Anyway, looking forward to the webseries. Rock on
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