Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's Really Okay With Me If You Don't Write

Walking up Broadway last night towards The Uptown Writer's Space, I caught a glimpse of a flyer in a window from a woman who promises to make you write. Sorry I didn't catch her name or the name of her business, but in very bold font on a bright green flyer, she did make the claim, "I will make you write!"

This is either a stern teacher in leather hotpants looking for "naughty boys" who need to be punished, or it is someone willing to whip you into shape in another way and pry that great American novel out of your guts. I suspect the latter, but will spend a lot of time today entertaining the former in my imagination. But I digress.

You should be able to write. It's your duty as an earthling to be able to communicate clearly and effectively via the written word in at least one language. However, when it comes to novels, plays, movies, poems and comedy sketches, I do not care that you write. Even in my writing classes, I do not care that you write. I care that you have written and we have something to work with to develop. If you didn't write anything, that's too bad. More time for me to spend with the people who did. Thanks for your money.

During my stand-up days, I was often approached by people who said, "Man, all my friends tell me I'm funny. I want to get up there and give it a try, but I don't think I have what it takes." You're probably right. Don't do it. There's enough of us carrying the workload. We've got the whole supply and demand thing covered. Keep being the funny guy at the office party. That's where we need you. Enjoy the show.

I want to be a rock star. I want to be up on a stage in front of thousands of people in an overcrowded sports arena and have everyone up on their feet rocking out to one of my tunes as I sing and play lead guitar. I want all the ladies to get all melty and cry when I switch to the acoustic guitar and play that ballad about how tender I am and how much I want to hold all of them in my sweaty rock star arms. I want my long, curly bangs to be plastered to my forehead as I work the crowd in my tight faux leather pants and vest (no shirt, got to show off these abs!) while my drummer, Jaws, does her obligatory drum solo. The only problem is, I know absolutely nothing about music, can't sing or play guitar, and my washboard stomach wouldn't clean a coffee cup. I also don't know any female drummers named Jaws. Man, if only I had someone to make me learn, write and perform music!

I love listening to music and will continue to seek out new music from old favorites while seeking out new, exciting stuff. If you enjoy reading, awesome. The world needs more people who enjoy reading. Read like the wind! Writers need people who appreciate and support them.

If you still feel you must write, take a class. That's the best place to find out if you have what it takes to be a writer. Believe me, there's a class out there for whatever you want to write - poetry, short stories, blogs, comedy sketches, etc. But if you sign up for a class and still find yourself not writing. It's okay. The world will not mourn the loss of never reading your words. Just like it won't weep over me not putting on tight pants and trying to sing.


Yesterday, I wrote...

"A 67-year-old Hong Kong politican answered accusations of not being patriotic by doing what?"

30% said "Tattooing the national flag on her behind"
- Well, at least at 67, the wrinkles in her butt will make it look like it's waving.

30% said "Eating Chinese food with Jackie Chan"
- It's only patriotic if the food is laced with lead and date rape drugs.

10% said "Riding through town on a horse nude"
- Sure, embarrass a horse to prove your point.

30% got it right with "Recording a rap music video"

According to The Associated Press, a 67-year-old Hong Kong politician responded to accusations of being unpatriotic by lip-synching to Cantopop star Scott Hui's "Proud to be Chinese" in a rap music video on Youtube. Anson Chan, a prominent pro-Democracy reformer, was criticized for suggesting that she and other contenders for a legislative seat hold a debate in English. She's actually barely in the video and I don't think it helps her case much. It's in English. But if it helps her, maybe Barrack can lay down some tracks the next time his patriotism comes into question.

Fun video, though. Check it out.


Brett and Anthony said...

The thing about writers, though, is that such a small percentage really do it (consistently) and, because of that, they completely miss the point that only the person writing is going to ultimately motivate themselves. And therefore, the read a sign that says I will make you.., and good percentage of people interested in writing will be lured by that. Whether they take the initiative to go or not, is another issue, but I'll bet she gets a few.

Anonymous said...

Just because you might never be the frontman for a hair metal band, that doesn't mean you can't wear the tight pants. Sometimes just living out part of the dream is enough. At least enough for the rest of us. Live the dream, Joe, live it!

Anonymous said...

What Brownlee said.

Someone needs to make "Comic Writer Hero" for the Xbox.

Anonymous said...

A girl drummer?


Joe Janes said...

Step off, man! It's my fantasy. Jaws is my chick drummer, Predator who not only looks like the alien from the film of the same name but IS the alien from the film by the same name, is on bass and Ralph from The Muppets is on keys. We kick major ass.

Lori said...

Um, Joe, you've already worn tight pants and tried to sing. Remember? November 1978, talent show?

You can't really ever top that.

Actually I know you remember. That's why it was so easy to write about it. You captured the experience perfectly.
Well, except for the shirt part. The shirt was on.

Anonymous said...

Click on the classes link, go down a little bit, and you'll see:
11/3-11/17 Learn to Knit
Which sounds alright, and directly underneith it:
11/3-11/17 Learn: How to End SECRET Government Torture of It's OWN CITIZENS

tough choice. I've been thinking of a way to combine the 2 classes. Revolutionary quilt making or something...