Dave Chappelle signing autographs in Cleveland...

Dave Chappelle signing autographs in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you all remember the Chappelle’s Show? It was a brilliant sketch comedy show, born of Dave Chappelle‘s singularly hilarious mind. It aired weeknights on Comedy Central. I’m sure none of you can forget Charlie Murphey’s stories about Rick James, whom Dave had a particular penchant for characterizing. I know I will never forget Tyrone Biggums, Dave’s rendition of a loveable crackhead.

Anyway, I digress. Do any of you remember why the Chappelle’s Show was cancelled? The series only ran for a few seasons before Dave quit. Do you remember why? I do. At the time of the incident, I was hard on Dave. I thought a man being paid as much as he was should bend over backwards to keep his bosses happy. But since I was not yet writing, I did not yet understand how demanding it was to be a creator.

Every day, Dave was responsible for coming up with new, fresh material that would make us all laugh. And because Dave was so brilliant, he couldn’t just slap anything up on the screen. It had to be of the caliber his following had come to expect, right? It had to be tongue-in-cheek and tear-worthy and somehow thought-provoking (since Dave did, as a general rule, visit some very important themes in his comedy). Dave’s work had to be perfect. Or at least, that’s how Dave saw it. And Dave realized that– even with all his fame and his money and the oodles of people being paid to ensure his visions became reality– he was on his own in the creativity department. No one could read his mind and write his skits for him. No one could tell him which of his ideas were gems and which were junk. No one but Dave could do Dave’s job.

Dave quit the Chappelle show because he realized the responsibility to create was a large one. For him, having already “made it,” the responsibility was crushing. He couldn’t produce content quickly and make it content he actually believed was his. He hated “selling out.” For Dave, becoming a “professional” stripped all the joy from his work.

As bloggers and indie writers, we’re all in for a little taste of that solitude. We’re all doomed to experience the hours or days when a dozen angry dogs couldn’t convince us to take one step past our exhaustion or hopelessness and sit down at our computers to write another story or chapter or article. And we all know that we ignore our needs and desires to have a life somewhat resembling human and we sit down to do the work anyway.

I don’t want to get too personal, but for the last ten days, my life has been a poo-storm. I’m not trying to be too discouraging either, but it doesn’t look as though the storm will be petering out any time soon. Since I am only a single bolt of fabric with absolute dimensions and I can’t cover any more area than I am physically able, I currently hate that I’m a writer. At the same time, unlike Dave, I can’t give it up.

So here I am, before you, tired as hell and unhappy about going to yet another shift at my day-job (what a waste of 8 good writing hours) and questioning my decision to travel the indie writing route with it’s multiple and endless demands on my time. And yet, here I am before you.

Being a creator sucks. When you are a creator, your life is no longer yours to live. Life becomes one long series of unrelated events, crap you must get through until you can get back to creating. Because isn’t creating the end-all, be-all? Even as you’re annoyed about your obligations to your audience, don’t you get a rush when you get to communicate with them? And don’t you always, always redact your statements about hating writing later, once you’ve actually gotten to the writing and felt the surge of pride and love when you type the words, “The End?”

Of course you do. Because, for real writers, it’s all worth it.

Thanks for sitting through my rant. If you take nothing else away from this, I hope you know that I and countless others have all experienced your worst writing day. And we’re still here to talk about it.

Or in my case, turn it into a desperate and flopping excuse for a long-overdue blog post.

I missed you all while I’ve been too busy dealing with my poo-storm to post a new article. I’m back now, even if it makes me angry to be so.

Until next time, my long-suffering fellows, I feel your pain. I’m sending a mental massage to your distressed Under-Bellies, right now. Can you feel my fingers?

*By now, you know the drill! Send me a note. Tell me about your frustrations as a writer. I’d love to talk about it in another blog post!

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Comments
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