"We don't go on because we're ready. We go on because it's 11:30." - Lorne Michaels
The long answer
Hello! My name is Hari, and I'm a coward.
I don't necessarily mean in the traditional sense. If I was walking home late at night, and someone tried to attack me, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't e.g. throw my wife in the way as a human shield before running away in the opposite direction – but I guess I can't know for sure until it happens.
I mean in the more specific sense: I want to spend most of my time writing and performing comedy, and yet I'm still a full-time software engineer.1
This meant that I spent most of my twenties waiting for some wonderful, magical day when I'd sell my sitcom pilot / get nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Award / marry someone rich – a day when I was finally ready to dive in and 'follow my dreams'.
This approach was stupid for several reasons. Firstly, all of those things are incredibly unlikely:
- Few people would buy a pilot from an unestablished writer.
- There were more than 1,800 comedy shows at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.
- My wife won't give me any of her money.
Secondly, I kinda enjoy being a software engineer – and I'm not just saying that in case anyone from work stumbles across this blog. (Hello!) The truth is: I like that my creativity isn't burdened by the pressure of supporting myself financially. I like that my stand-up routines are enriched by real-world experiences. I like that I'm constantly exposed to ideas from the tech world that make me a better writer, like MVPs and 'inventory is waste'. And anyway, real artists have day jobs.
But the most important reason: a life spent waiting for something just isn't that fulfilling.
This doesn't mean that we should abandon our creative ambitions. It just means that we should stop waiting. So to answer your original question: this is a blog about living the comedy dream from 5 to 9. It's about not holding out for some perfect future time when all the stars are aligned to write and film and perform things. It's about doing things now, because it's 11:30.3
I hope you'll join in too.
1 I'm aware that this is very much a First-World Problem, and that I'm incredibly lucky to be in a position to have it. However, I strongly believe that you should sort yourself out first, before trying to fix everything else. You might disagree, and I'd be more than happy to hear from you – but just a heads up that you're really not going to enjoy this blog.2
2 As you may have noticed, I like using footnotes. (I'm a big fan of David Foster Wallace.) I know it's a bit annoying to keep scrolling up and down the page so – as a compromise – you'll find them at the end of every section, in these grey boxes.
3 I forgot to mention that this page is most effective if you start reading it around 11:28.
The short answer
I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog so that I can collate things I've learned, document the stuff I'm working on and improve my writing. Hopefully some of it will be useful for you!