My blog posts are usually, reasonably, planned out. The least planning I do is whenever I just post a photo and make fun of it for a few sentences, but even then I have to go find a photo that is worth talking about. Longer posts where I just write and write, tend to fester in my brain for weeks. Why do I do this to myself? I think of myself as an improv comedian from time-to-time, so why not just free write more often? The truth is, that can be nerve-racking too. I often write more neurotically and less coherently when I don’t have things planned out. At least with improv comedy, part of the fun is the mistakes. When writing, as I guess I feel with stand-up comedy, having a plan and saying just the right words at the right times (also known as “perfection”) is my goal. Yet I’ve had moment on stage where I wanted the joke to go one way and something goes wrong, but people laugh anyways. Maybe it’s more laughing at me than with me, but maybe that shouldn’t matter. I still think it’s the idea that the audience is laughing at, and not just my goof.
There are so many blogs out there, I feel like everyone has one and it’s probably some insecurity related to that which causes me to try and write to perfection. It’s a fool’s errand, really. I’m just not that good of a writer, never was in school either. So maybe that’s the key, just writing to be myself. I’d probably get a lot more stuff out there and even seem like more of a person. I know I’m funny-ish and I make people laugh. Maybe with any luck, people are at least smiling at how silly this particular post is.
My first real compliment as a writer came after I became an Eagle Scout. Once a person becomes an Eagle Scout, they have a court of honor to receive their medal and other such items in front of family and friends. I knew I had to write a speech to give near the end of the ceremony. I suppose I was probably a little nervous since I’d never been a good writer, but I managed to come up with one (probably the night before). I’m sure it was just some stream-of-conscious thoughts, thanking people and talking about my Eagle Scout project, all the fun times I had as a scout and as a summer camp counselor. I did get a few laughs from the audience, mostly stuff that I didn’t think was really all that funny but I thought people might enjoy hearing. Afterwards, my scout master came up to me and said, with a smile from ear-to-ear, “That was the funniest speech I’d ever heard.” Was he being generous and maybe a little hyperbolic? Sure. But my speech was good enough to at least merit that response. It’s one thing that has stuck with me all these years later and has to be at least partly to blame for a perfectly respectable Eagle Scout to aspire to become a comedian.
Thanks for sticking through that whole thing, it’s my first blog post without any proofreading before posting, a little free writing, if you will.