Comedy writer and tutor Sally Holloway has some advice for people who want to write comedy. According to her, the trick is to get up an hour earlier than normal and, before you do anything else, use “your morning energy, your first flush, your get out of bed and face the world vigour”.
Dear Ms Holloway: What is this “get out of bed and face the world vigour” of which you speak? This is a concept as alien to me as fact-checking is to a tabloid journalist. It’s all I can do, first thing in the morning, to prise my eyelids apart, much less string a coherent sentence together, as my wife will unhappily confirm. My first flush is the one that sends the former contents of my bladder into the sewers; after that, the only flush I can expect to experience before lunchtime is the hot one that comes with the realization that I have blearily trashed the mail and mailed the trash.
My wife has long since given up talking to me before I have at least had one coffee, and even then she takes care never to tell me anything important. Not for fear of destroying my creativity, you understand. At that time of day, I don’t have any creativity, which is why my wife knows better than to engage me in conversation.
Perhaps, Ms Holloway, you’re a morning person; and all I can say is, I envy you. It must be bliss to wake up to glorious sunshine, sweet birdsong and Bill Withers singing Lovely Day, to throw off the fluffy duvet like people do in adverts for low-fat yoghurt, throw open the windows and greet the day with the kind of carefree smile that the rest of us can only hope to achieve by smoking something illegal. We in the rest of the human race aren’t like that.
The most creative morning I had was the one after my cat Clyde had woken me up in the middle of the night and tried to persuade me to get up, which wasn’t like him at all. I successfully ignored him until he gave up, but when six o’clock came round, I found out why he’d been so keen to get me out of bed when I put my hand into a cold puddle of cat sick. There was comedy gold right there, Ms Holloway, but I was too busy using up my creative energy stripping the bed to actually write about it. I believe I may have tweeted the event, but like most things that happen a.m., it’s all a bit of a blur.
Also, I don’t know what kind of e-mails you write, but mine don’t use up any creative energy. They usually say things like, “Please find invoice attached.” Unless I write them less than hour after getting up, in which case they are far more likely to read, “Plesdr find innvoice attacked.”
By all means, give the masses the benefit of your get-out-of-bed-and-face-the-world-vigour. I think the masses would appreciate it if I didn’t give them mine.