Jun
07

June Update: Books, Books, and You Guessed It: Books

It is now June and a bit has changed since the last time we chatted. One: my bedroom at home has become less of a room and more of a library for every single female comedian book that has ever been written ever.* And two: I now can recite word for word how every female comedian** felt changed from the big switch from [insert small town here] to [New York City or Los Angeles].

My days have been spent reading a book a week.*** So far, I have read Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick****, and Bosspants by Tina Fey. Currently, I am reading Outline by Rachel Cusk, which is SPOILER ALERT: Not a comedian memoir! I’m really going out of my comfort zone on this one. But it is a book of varying perspectives, so I think it will help.

But reading these books has been super fun and educational. I can look at certain parts of each book and see what works and what doesn’t. I have grown to trust my own comedic instincts on what counts as “funny,” so that I don’t bother friends, family, and long-forgotten GroupMe group chats with annoying all caps text messages, asking IS THIS FUNNY? with a crude and out of focus picture of my computer screen. I have learned a bunch of different things, like the fact that I really like how Anna Kendrick uses lists to break up big blocks of text. (She has a whole chapter where she just lists what her dream Thanksgiving would have. It’s hilarious.) Tina Fey has some chapters that are literally two sentences long and I loved it. All of these women made such funny pieces, while having to abide by reality. They were forced to limit themselves to what happened and the whole genre of nonfiction (although I’m sure some things were changed. Don’t trust everything you read.) My novel is fiction, so I can play around as much as I can. The world is my oyster, as one particularly weathered boat captain with a parrot perched on one shoulder once said.

On the writing of my piece, Tell Me What You Really Think, I’m a little over 100 pages in. It’s making sense. I have ideas. But there are days where I just sit in front of a computer screen and I just think about what I’m going to write when I only actually put down three paragraphs. And that’s okay. I’m beginning to understand that that’s okay. Even days when I’m just thinking about what will come next is a day of success. And maybe this is just me trying to make myself feel better, but I think I can’t be bogging myself down on “productivity.” That’s just going to make me sad and… unfunny. Which is not what I’m going for.

In conclusion, I think I’ve learned to just let comedy happen. I can’t force it. Comedy is like a ripening avocado. You have to wait for it to happen. If you try to force it and cut it open before it’s ripe and ready, you’ll be left with a disaster of a guac and a joke that just doesn’t land.

Thank you to everyone who is joining me on this adventure! Hope you all get the avocados of your dreams (if you’re into that kind of thing)

 

*An exaggeration

**Also an exaggeration

***Not an exaggeration. I’ve been dedicated.

****Okay she’s not really a comedian but her book is super funny and I learned a lot.

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