Creatively, I’ve been in a good place this week.
I’m enjoying the process of ‘productive procrastination.’
Basically, I’ve written loads of jokes and I’m going through the process of saying them on stage to work out what does and doesn’t work and more-often than not, that means I’m dying hard.
I take a positive look at it though because in a few months I’ll have another handful of jokes to add to my set.
It would be easy to lose motivation and stop being productive during this period so I’m distracting myself by creating lots of things outside of comedy. I’ve written a script for episode one of a sketch show and am working on episode two now. I’m also trying my hand at writing a book, and if my discipline holds out then I should be about 7,000 words into it by the time you read this.
If you follow me on instagram then you may have seen the little redacted poems that I post weekly. These are total distractions. They feel good because they take a bit of time and it feels like I’m making something but they don’t serve any other purpose besides amusing me. There’s no pressure to make them, I’m never going to say them on stage (though I have tried it once). Also I totally stole the idea from Austin Kleon who I’ve mentioned in this blog previously.
So basically what I’m saying is, writers block is only an issue if you’re writing. Struggling to be creative doing one thing? Do something different. You’ll find that you’re not blocked in all creative pursuits.
Anyway, enough smart-price psychiatry from me, here’s a few things that have inspired me this week.
I’m reading ‘Off the mic‘ by Deborah Frances-White and Marsha Shandur.
It’s the perfect accompaniment to ‘Daily Rituals’ that I read last week. Where daily rituals focuses on the routines of famous creatives throughout history, ‘Off the mic’ is specifically talking to comedians about their processes and the way in which they work.
Again, something I really like about this book is that reading it re-assures you that everybody works differently. The only common factor among successful people is that they all do the work. So your process and your daily routine can be whatever you like, but if there’s something you want to do, make sure you get it done.
As humble bragged about in the intro, I’ve been attempting to write a sketch show which means I’ve been watching a lot of sketch comedy.
In particular, I’ve been loving We are Klang, the sketch group that Greg Davies used to be a part of. They are brilliant, so if you’ve not seen them before, can I recommend watching this video from Edinburgh and beyond.
I’m not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to art so I can only go off what I like but I have always been a huge fan of Francis Bacon. I love his work and I think he’s a fascinating character himself. I would highly recommend reading, ‘The guilded gutter life of Francis Bacon‘.
Anyway, I’ve been furiously liking away over on Instagram in an effort to fill my newsfeed with creative inspiration and I’ve found a few artists whose work I really enjoy.
And it turns out what I really like in art is thick paint and distorted faces. I’m not sure what the psychology of that is, but I just find it really appealing.
In an act of productive procrastination I was even inspired to pick up my paint brush and give it a terrible go myself.
I was chatting to my friend Rob, a screenwriter about this blog and he sent me some links to video’s that inspired him, including this documentary on Ian Rankin which covers a lot of his process and routine, which is something I clearly have an obsession with at the moment!
And that’s it for this week! Come back next week for another thrilling installment of ‘things what got me making things’.