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Sketch Challenge, 3rd Set: Sometimes the Wheels Fall Off

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Wildly Exaggerated: Sketch Challenge, 3rd Set: Sometimes the Wheels Fall Off

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sketch Challenge, 3rd Set: Sometimes the Wheels Fall Off

As you may recall, last week represented the single largest FAIL of Kimberly Welsh's Sketch Challenge and Very Public Nervous Breakdown, With No Sketches Whatsoever to date. I decided to ease back into writing last weekend by writing a submission for another website! You may have noticed that I never promoted it, and that's because it was rejected. And then I also didn't put it on my own blog, because frankly I wasn't that impressed with it myself. But I had spent most of the weekend writing/editing it, so the thought that I had burned up 48 hours for nothing was pretty...disheartening.

 I resolved to start fresh this week, then singularly failed to do so, choosing instead to play with Google+ (, if you're into that sort of thing), and Spotify, and an ill-advised quantity of alcohol. All of this avoidance was part of a vicious cycle that made me feel a little like the great Ernest Hemingway: I drank when I couldn't write, and then I couldn't write because I was drinking too much! Fun fact: It must've been fucking miserable being Ernest Hemingway. [Just as a point of fact, I am a total lightweight. So when I say "I drank too much", that means as much as 3 glasses of wine in one night. It's not like I woke up in the morning and drank a bottle of vodka before I got in the shower.]

And really, I could write; I was just too scared to, in case I couldn't write anything good. So I woke up Friday morning with the apocalyptic hangover from hell and said, "Right! That two weeks was interesting. Now might be a good time to get my shit together." So I have. I haven't gone out or done anything classically "fun" in the last 3 days, but I have written. And then I wrote, then I wrote a little more, and now I'm writing. And that feels very good, in a very geeky sort of way. WAY WAY WAY more fun than being inebriated, trust me. Yesterday, I got 30 pages of sketches written, which puts the total count at 150 pages - the halfway mark!

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel compelled to tell you that if we were to actually perform all the sketch shows I've written, this one would be the weakest BY FAR. I am singularly unimpressed. But! I don't have many good ideas to work with from the last few weeks (I blame the booze and sleep-deprivation), and this is only the first draft. If anything good came out of last weekend's mostly wasted effort, it's that I did more editing that weekend than I have ever done on any of my previous "comedic" work. And even though I didn't think the final draft was worthy of posting, I firmly believe it was about a thousand times better than the first draft. So I have a lot more faith in editing (and my ability to do it effectively) than I did before. And I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that I had the benefit of a really fantastic editrix, in the form of my BFF, who critiqued the first draft and sent back some really fantastic and perfectly-worded guidance.

(Boy is she ever going to regret THAT!)

So I'm optimistic that even these horrible first drafts may yet be saved. Well, some of them, anyway.

I've just realized that I have inadvertently continued the unofficial tradition of naming the Sketch Challenge posts using song lyrics. That one up there is from Neil Halstead's "Sometimes the Wheels", which has recently become an anchor in my daily writing playlist, and which I find very comforting whenever I feel another nervous breakdown coming on. Because "Sometimes the wheels fall off, and sometimes you can't get up...and Sometimes the world moves fast, and sometimes you can't keep up, and sometimes I just sit and think, and I don't think much". BONUS: It contains a brilliant 2-line indictment of skinny jeans! Recommended.

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