The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.
And you know what? Maybe that’s why Saturday Night Live sucks these days.
A few months ago, I wrote about the fact that this blog, which I used to update strictly on Wednesdays and Sundays, has since slipped considerably in its timeliness. It started around my junior year of college, when I turned 21 and discovered that the Tuesday and Saturday nights that I had until then spent writing blogs were great nights for getting cheap drinks at the local college watering hole – updates started happening later and later on Wednesdays and Sundays until these past few months, when, with increasing regularity, I’ve been updating a day or two late.
Newer arrivals may be thinking, Jesus, he doesn’t update on time – is this really worth writing about? But you’ve got to understand, before I got a really active social life, you could set your damn watch to this blog. I made a point of staying up until midnight most Tuesdays and Saturdays, just so I could post the blog at 12:01 AM on the morning of my update day, which, given that my readership at the time was roughly 9 hits a day, was a lot like a five year old girl waking up at 4:30 AM to bake the imaginary cake for her afternoon tea party with her stuffed animals.
Even as my life got more complicated I was able to stick to this schedule. At one point I was working at the Oregon Daily Emerald, taking classes, shooting Writers, and writing this blog all at once, and the updates still came in on time. Late in my relationship with The Ex Girlfriend, she found a way to drag me into a heated shouting match about animal rights virtually every Tuesday and Saturday night, yet I was still able to hang up the phone and somehow put all that emotionally fraught nonsense behind me for just long enough to write a goofy blog update about pancakes or some shit and get it posted on time.
Now, though, I’m late on updates more often than I’m on time – now, when I work during the day and come home at night to no homework, no extracurricular activities, no significant other to make me too miserable to be funny. In April, I said I’d take my sweet time on updates because I wanted to spend as much of my senior year with my friends as I could, update schedule be damned – but my senior year is over, and as a new arrival to LA my social calendar isn’t exactly bursting and the bars are prohibitively expensive. That’s right; I can’t even use alcohol abuse as an excuse anymore. Fitzgerald never had this problem.
Here, I’ve realized, is why my updates are coming in late now:
I go back and reread my older updates sometimes, but when I do I don’t venture much further back than the past year or so. The further back I go, the more consistently crappy the updates are, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, these are the updates that are the most consistent.
Some of that is because I learned how to write a blog by writing this blog, and so there’s a bunch of wobbly entries where I clearly thought using lots of big words would make me look like a hilarious genius. But a lot of it is because there are updates back there that clearly weren’t ready for the spotlight – they needed another hour or two of work, or maybe a good night’s sleep, before officially becoming funny.
But I posted them anyway, because the update doesn’t get posted because it’s finished – it gets posted because it’s an update day.
And I guess that was okay for me at the time, because I needed to do as much writing as possible in order to practice up and get good at it – something I still need to do. Now, though, the game has changed.
I can’t run fast. My cooking skills are mediocre to poor. I’ve never built anything. I can’t fix a car engine. I don’t know karate. The one thing I can do well is write, and this blog serves as my portfolio – essentially the best way for an employer to figure out whether they want to pay me to write or not.
So I can’t really afford to have a lot of crappy, half finished updates showing up on here just because my deadline has arrived – when you read something crappy with my name on it, it gives the impression that I’m a crappy writer.
And hey – maybe I am a crappy writer compared to my competition down here, but I’m far less crappy at writing than I am at virtually any other skill, so it behooves me to put my best and funniest foot forward in this regard, because that foot is guaranteed to go way further than my ‘ironing’ or ‘talking to girls in bars’ feet can go.
I’m slower on the updates now because I think it’s better for all of us if I write something good instead of something strictly punctual. I get that punctuality is important in the TV scriptwriting game, but there the reason to be punctual is because there’s a damn show that needs to be put on, not just because you’ve got some self imposed deadline to meet for some arbitrary reason. And I think I’ve demonstrated pretty well that I can be punctual – for reference, just see my first two years’ worth of updates.
The real solution here is to start writing earlier in the week in order to allow myself plenty of time to get a good update done before my deadline arrives. And so long as we’re talking about responsible things I should do, I should probably open up the shower drain and clean all my clogged loose hair out of it. If I ever get around to that, I’ll let you know with a timely, expertly crafted blog update.
Truman Capps prefers Drain-O, anyway.