God’s Will

The Writing Is The Hardest Part

I try writing every day – I am a firm believer in the Seinfeldian – DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN – train of thought.

In 2014 I frequently used the hashtag – #dontbreakthechain for motivation and encouragement to me fellow writers.

G.O.A.L.S – A New Take On An Old Classic

f2558-nyeFor the last few years I have posted – near the end of December or sometimes early January – about the importance of setting GOALS for the upcoming year – you can check those out here, here or here – and the strategies  I employ to ensure I don’t waste the next 8784 hours.

5 Things I Use to Break Bad “Not-Writing” Habits

43617-writingI have not written consistently recently. There’s not much I HAVE done consistently recently –except use the same two words in back to back sentences only revering the order – isn’t that some sort of palindrome?

Not BLOG posts, jokes or grocery lists – which gets me into a boatload of trouble.

Too often – the last few months – I have allowed distractions to keep me from producing more than a few jokes here or there when a “spark” of inspiration has struck.

There has been no, none, zippo, zilch concentrated effort. That sentence started off being longer but you know what? ZERO effort completely sums up what I have done for months.

Some of that can be attributed to a nagging pain I have – no, not my M-I-L – my knee. But that is only partly to blame.

Most of it has to do with being away from comedy; being away from clubs and other joke writers/tellers.

Like most things – it’s the direct result of getting out of the habit of doing what I was doing when things were going in the right direction.

So, I put together a list of the 5 things I have to change in order to get my writing back on track and I thought they may help you too.

 

NUMBER 5 – GET AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE

This can be a tough one especially if you’re married with children – of course in those circumstances it can also be the one MOST desired! If you are Mw/C then ask for permission to go to a coffee shop, McDonald’s or even the library – though for me those places are TOO quiet – and just get away from your normal surroundings. Often for me, a change a scenery opens up a flood of stuff to write about even if I just start with what I am seeing – another reason the library is not good because all you see is books.

 

NUMBER 4 – READ A BOOK

So, go to the library – see what I did there? If you’re having difficulty generating ideas for material start a new book OR open to the middle of something and pick up wherever you turn to – Your mind will start work trying to figure out how the story got to this point to begin with. OK, now, that you’re engrossed in this fascinating new book that you’ve already finished half of…QUIT reading and start writing. And don’t complain about not finishing the book – maybe if you read a little faster…

 

NUMBER 3 – TURN OFF THE TELEVISION

No brainer right? This includes binge watch all the Dr. Who episodes you have on your DVR. The television is the enemy and must be defeated at all costs.

 

NUMBER 2 – GET OFF THE INTERNET

If television is the enemy then the internet is the Supreme Commander of the most evil army in the known universe. Imagine Darth Vader, The Green Goblin and Oprah Winfrey leading coordinated attacks on your home well allow me to re-introduce you to Darth “Facebook” Vader – good deep down WAY waaaaay down, you’re better off just tossing the remains on an open pyre. The Green “Twitter” Goblin – so evil he can throw pumpkin bombs at you in 140 character bursts and then there’s Oprah “Netflix” Winfrey. Like her twisted cousin the DVR Netflix Winfrey will suck your time away and before you realize what’s happened you’ll be half way through the third season of LOST – and you already watched it – twice!

 

NUMBER 1 – JUST WRITE

Plain and simple stop reading this, stop complaining, stop making excuses and stop doing anything that is not putting words to paper – unless you write on a computer then shut-up and start typing. There is NO other way to begin writing, no other way to break out of the habit of NOT writing than to simply sit down and start. If you cannot think a of anything right off the bat then start with “I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, I can’t think, “ until you THINK of something other than “I can’t think “. This may not immediately produce your next closing joke it may not even lead to a throw away one liner but it will lead to your mind working and generating ideas and THAT will lead to something – eventually.

 

 

P.S. I really like Oprah – no, no I don’t but if you liked this post or just like me feel free to “LIKE” my Facebook page to the left. It’s easy and it makes my lack of self-esteem get just a little higher!

I also have some other thoughts on writing – click here or here.

 

What keeps you from writing? How do you get started after a hiatus? Step up to the mic and sound off! This is, after all, an open mic.

This Clip IS And IS NOT Short

Hey Gang,

Here’s a clip of me talking about my weight issues – it was shot at Gutterballs Comedy Cabaret @ The Alley in Apollo Beach, Fl.

 

Love to hear your thoughts…

Goals For My Journey To Professional Comedy

BOY HOWDY  – Been Gone Awhile

Have I ever been away for awhile! After the year I had and the way I kicked off 2015 – 31 posts in 31 days with my Proverbs challenge (Day 31 here) – I really thought I’d be a blogging machine this year. I got distracted from blogging but for a really good reason – I am working on my dream of becoming a working comedian!

And it takes a TON of time.

I am still writing – almost every day. Not keeping a calendar like I did in 2014 (See that here) but my joke notebook is filling up and I have nearly 10 minutes of very usable material so far this year – and that is a good thing.

Here is a snippet of that material.

Below are the MAIN goals I have for myself to accomplish my dream of turning comedy from a pastime to a profession.

1) Long Term Comedy Goal – LTCG – I want to be able to replace my full time job and support my family doing, 100% clean, God honoring comedy.
2) Comedy Education including – Rik Roberts’ School of Laughs (I highly recommend checking out the school and the podcast). I will read books and take workshops to improve my material, my mindset and my drive. Always looking to improve.
3) Writing Daily – I will write at least 2 pages of free thoughts and note what might be usable as material and work on ideas as they come to me or that I have keep track of in either my notebook or Evernote
4) Open Mics – I will attend at least one (1) OM a week – more as family and work allow but 1 for sure. I heard RR say it takes about 100 OMs to know yourself and your audience so I have about 80 more sets to go before I really know what I am doing – YIKES!
5) Accountability Partners – Along with sending this list to RR, I will recruit some guys from my church as well as a couple a my comedy buddies to hold me accountable to all of the above.

 

So, Whaddya think? Did I miss anything, would you add anything? What is your dream – your passion? Please share it in the comments.

You Wanted A Laugh You Gotta Laugh

I know it is has been a LONG time since I posted something – especially something of substance and today’s post is NO different.

 

Goals for 2015 – What Am I Thinking?

f2558-nyeI am sitting here working on my goals for next year, something I neglected to do last year and as a result I drifted.

Going into 2014 I was filled with hope for getting back into comedy. I was excited by the prospect of getting back on a stage and the rush that accompanies the sound of laughter that I caused – inadvertently or not.

I missed that feeling – a lot, and had every intention of pursuing that feeling and everything that goes with it but I got sidetracked at the beginning of the year and it took me until almost August to see how far off track I had gotten.

Something that would not have happened had I had a plan – but not simply a plan but a written plan. A road map for where I wanted 2014 to take me or better, where I wanted to TAKE 2014.

Failures Wanted – What It Takes To Be A Comedian (or anything else that matters)

Photo by:  Sean MacEntee - Creative Commons

Photo by: Sean MacEntee – Creative Commons

A great man once said, “If you never failed, you never tried.”

Of course another – much meaner  – man once said to me “If ya ain’t cheating, ya ain’t trying” then he knocked me down.

I do miss Grampa.

Both  quotes have a degree of truth to them and your willingness to adopt these into your mindset could determine how or if you – or I –  see any success in 2015 ( no this is not my EOY encouragement for you to write out your goals for 2015 –  BUT it’s coming).

25 Years Ago Today

Raising the flag at Iwo Jima

Raising the flag at Iwo Jima

Hardly seems possible. The Wizard of OZ, Santa and the Tooth-fairy seem more likely than to say that 25 years ago today I was eating my first breakfast – having not slept for more than 24 hours – on Parris Island.

My Marnie adventure was just beginning and everything was moving so fast that I had little time to think. That’s not a bad thing – really.

My time in the Marines is a mixed bag of emotion for me.

On the one hand, I spent the required amount of time, overcame all the obstacles, met all the requirements necessary to become a Marine. I walked across the parade deck and was declared a “Marine”. That can never be taken away from me.

Thankful For God’s Timing

Comedy-Club

Whew! It  has been a long time! I have had an odd couple of months.

I did my first open mic – in nearly 6 years –  back in August at Side Splitters in Tampa. It’s a great club, close to home and they offer a lot of opportunities to new comics to get on a stage and work out their material.

I bombed!

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