November 22nd 2020
I missed writing this yesterday, I don’t mean ‘missed’ in the sense I forgot to write it, I simply mean, I missed it, I yearned, I pined, I ached, yes, of course I have a thesaurus, I don’t know all the words. At around nine-thirty in the evening I found myself thinking, I could write one and post it now but, seriously, who is going to read an entry for Diary Of A Locked Down Comedian at that time of night on a Saturday, I am not even sure people read this when they’re skiving from work so I know they won’t bother to read it in their own time!
Yesterday was a fabulous day. I spent it reading, walking, meeting some new people and chilling on a sofa. This isn’t really a tell-all diary so I won’t go into great detail but know this, I find myself in a happy place. I KNOW. I play on being a cantankerous old fool. Now I’ll wander around talking to dogs. I might be happy but I draw the line on starting a conversation with an actual human.
It’s a lockdown, the world has been hit hard by a pandemic and I am sitting here typing away in my Dads’ old office surrounded by his, and my, books.
Was I that fed up traveling around the globe trying to make complete strangers laugh out loud? Yes, quite frankly. It may sound like a dream job but was it? Really? The only thing about it that I genuinely miss is the different view every day. A new city or town to explore or just the relative calmness of the ocean on a sea day. Even then most days were the same, spent killing time and drinking coffee aside from the day of a show then that day became about quoshing the boredom for only part of the day until you finally got showered, planned a show, threw on a suit and ‘worked’ for forty five minutes, twice. TWICE! Ninety minutes of work and sometimes that was all you were asked to do all cruise. The show side of it was never really work, the work for me began the day after, you were the focus and people wanted to tell you what they thought. It was always good, annoying, no one ever came up to me and said I was bad. Those people would just stare at you, or try and catch your eye and then look away. Those were the people I wanted to talk to. I have said this before in the diary but Springsteen has the best quote in his autobiography, Born To Run,
‘I am happy in the spotlight when I am working and decidedly unhappy in it when I am not.’
It’s a brilliant read once you get into it, towards the end Springsteen writes about it taking him more than seven years to write. That pleased me, I have been writing the book about my Dad for six years so I am not dragging my feet as much as I feared. I heard a writer writes two thousand words a day so that was the target I set myself. John Lenahan a published author, top comedy magician and my mate laughed out loud when I told him about this, telling me that only Stephen King writes two thousand words a day. I lowered my target.
It must now be something like six years since I wrote the introduction for my book. In days that works out to 2,275 days. I have written close to 80,000. Doing the maths I realise my daily total has been 35.16.
That doesn’t sound like a writers daily total mostly because it isn’t. But since this second lockdown started I have written 17,250 words. This isn’t a guess, I went through all the entries I have written so far and made a note of each days word count, I remembered I had written a short chapter for my book and, with Keith, we had edited the chapter I have tentatively called That Day, I took the liberty to add ten percent for little bits here and there and came up with the grand total of 17,250. I included the words in this entry which has so far reached six hundred and two. I haven’t, however, added the 125 words I have written to tell you all about the words I have written over the last eighteen days. 18 days, if I had written an entry yesterday I would have been looking at an average of 1,000 words a day. Damn it.
I have gone off on a tangent once again, I was going to talk and give examples of pointless praise, I did never did seek, nor enjoy the praise for my stand-up but every day I find myself thoroughly enjoying the writing of this diary. I look forward to coming into the office, opening the laptop and writing, I don’t plan what I am going to write, I just write. See, I am very happy doing this. I love it, if I could find a way to make a living doing this I would be ecstatic, on cloud nine, elated, euphoric and yes, I haven’t put the thesaurus back on the shelf yet. Here is the bit that confuses me, almost embarrasses me. I want to know if you are enjoying it. Praise or criticism for this would mean the absolute world to me.
Oh, and for those of you interested my favourite ever compliment came from a couple who called after me as I climbed the stairs of the Viking Sun.
“Paul, we know you’re not going to like this but we loved your show last night, we will leave you alone now.”
Shots of Coffee: 6
Reading: The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza, and Weekend i (It’s a newspaper)
Listened to: Radio X, TalkSport & Eminem
YouTube Tip: Will Ferrel & Chad Smith
Word Count: 938