Is This Anything?

Unblock my brain
Say I’ll write once again

Undo this pain of not writing at all
And not having anything to say
Undo this hurt
I cried so many nights

Okay, let’s cut the dramatics. Toni Braxton sang it better anyway. 

Every time I go through a bout of writers’ block, I am reminded of that Jerry Seinfeld book called ‘Is This Anything?’ It’s a comedian’s take on how their brains are always in motion and wired to find the funny in, well, almost anything. Sometimes the craft is formed through natural quick quips inspired by common everyday exchanges. Other times, it’s like trying to squeeze liquid from a scrunched-up piece of paper, begging the eternal question: Is this anything?

“What are you doing?” My semi-compulsively organized husband asked me with a sideways glance. I was wildly flinging loose pages and journals at the bottom of the stairs where I hoard all my childhood diaries and obsessive stationery collection. I had successfully emptied the entire contents of a drawer full of neatly tucked-away journals when he heard the commotion from his desk. It was a Tuesday night, and I was desperately panic-rifling through my old diaries to try to find a smidgen of something profound to reflect on or even a little something to refuel the embers of my dying fire. Is this anything?

I ended up leafing through some old journals and traveled further down memory lane than I intended to. What I found instead of inspiration was a bunch of self-serving, angsty scribbles about my entire world ending (embarrassingly because my middle-school crush might have mispronounced my name and laughed for five seconds too long when I accidentally tripped over a ball in gym class). An hour later, with nothing but dusty hands and a big mess at my heels, I peeled myself off the carpet and moped back upstairs relenting to writing a post about nothing. I never did tell my husband what I was doing, he just accepted that I was likely having another nutty Tuesday night as usual.

I even surveyed my sisters for funny childhood memories.

“Remember the time mom gave me an enema in the public setting of the family living room?” Is that anything?

Oh, or the time my little sister convinced me to crawl into the human-sized laundry sack only to drag me down a two-step platform and abandon said sack (sadly with me still in it) as soon as my mother came at us with a slipper. For the love of all that is holy IS THAT ANYTHING?

Reading his book got me thinking about how comedy is quite similar to writing. It takes guts to show up on stage just to spew your, hopefully, relatable (in fact, so relatable it’s hilarious) thoughts to a crowd of mostly unknowns just for the euphoria of a guttural laugh. Writers do that every time they publish their work or allow others to read it. Except without the laughing part, no one wants to be laughed at. Not even for five seconds.

All Mr. Seinfeld cared about at that age was doing what he loved, just enough to support him at the minimum. My takeaway from that is to do something you love because you wholeheartedly, without a shadow of a doubt love doing it- not for any other reason.  

See you next Wednesday. 

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21 thoughts on “Is This Anything?

  1. Seinfeld is my all-time favorite show because who can’t get behind a storyline about nothing?🤣 It’s also the perfect mix of odd yet lovable characters.

    You’ve come up with an apt comparison between writing and stand-up comedy. It takes a lot of risk to bare one’s soul, though could anything be worse than publicly dying on stage?

    I got a chuckle about looking through your old notebooks (sounds like some comedy gold right there) and surveying your sisters for their memories. You’ve summed it up perfectly—write because you love it. What better reason is there for doing something than that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been maid of honour 3 times and all 3 times I had to take several shots of liquid courage (all times I overshot it lol) but still turned out well I think, but that goes to show how much I love being on “stage” and having ppl stare at me lol so yea I can’t imagine being a comedian having to deal with that but I guess that’s where their passion lies!

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  2. When I am in one of those phases where I just don’t know what to write about, I try to make something happen that I can write about, like a fun outing or a funny date. 😀 😀 Ah, the never-ending need for content!

    I’m not the biggest Seinfield fan just never related with any of it and never quite got his humour. Although Jerry is still the wealthiest actor in the world, I’m guessing other people enjoy what he does. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • hahaha you try to create drama in order to write haha that’s a good idea actually LOL I might pick a fight or two with the husband just for some much-needed content now! Lol

      Truth be told, I’m not a fan of Seinfeld either but I loved his take on that!

      Like

  3. Yes, do what you do wholeheartedly. That’s become my mantra over the years. Not that I love everything I have to do, but it’s better to go into activities with a positive mindset. And there’s nothing wrong with asking yourself if something is anything. Better than finding out that everything is nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Keeping an open mind: Nov. 13 – A Silly Place

  5. A little behind here so my apologies … I know I march to a different beat as to my blog, but what the heck, I just go for it. I do slip in a few “memories” posts every so often, more so since I took the time to scan in all the photo albums five years ago this weekend (the four-day Thanksgiving holiday). I think I may be the only person who never saw an episode of “Seinfeld” … also “Friends”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha ironically enough, I never could get into Seinfeld, don’t think I’ve ever wanted an entire episode and never laughed at anything lol I do remember feeling the frenzy of the LAST-EVER episode to air and how crazed ppl were to find out about how it ends lol… I was a HUGE fan of friends but not when it was on air. I am a re-runs girl! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • There were some shows that were on the same time as other shows I watched – that may have been the case with Seinfeld. At one time there were so many good TV shows on at 10:00 p.m. weeknights that I remember we got a second VCR to tape two and watch one. Never saw Cheers or Fraser either. Maybe will stream these down the road and I’m all for re-runs too. No one is going to be giving spoilers after all these years!

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