Has this ever happened to you? After a string of great shows you get tons of compliments, but instead of being happy you start to worry… will you be able to keep it up? You’ve raised the bar on your improvising so high that if you don’t deliver you will disappoint. You’re paralyzed in your fear. What if the next show sucks?
Eventually it will happen. You will have a show that will suck. Maybe several. But it will be a new kind of suck; a better version of what “suck” used to look like, because “suck” is relative. What “suck” looked like a year ago is not the same as this year. Your suckiness is getting better. That has been my experience in improv.
That is where I am today. I don’t feel like writing this blog, because I felt that last two blogs were exceptional. I am afraid I won’t be able to top them and I am afraid to suck. It’s called “expectations” and they work like this: you set a really high standard for yourself and if you don’t maintain it you suck. It’s non-negotiable. It’s pass or fail. You end up either winning a Pulitzer Prize or you’re a piece of shit.
So what if I committed to the idea that the blog I am writing right now is going to suck?
I agree to write the worst blog ever. (In a lot of ways, I think I’ve gotten off to a pretty good start.) I’ll let go of my expectations, and as my new-age friends like to say, “lean into” it. I’m serious here. Just by saying that out loud, I have come up with at least 10 ways I can make this blog really suck. Like what if I just stop typing and end the blog right here?
That would suck, wouldn’t it? But I don’t have the courage to do that because of my fear of what you’d think of me as writer, and more importantly; as a person.
I feel a little lighter just knowing that this blog is going to suck. I’m having a little more fun typing these words onto the page. I am actually enjoying myself. I may even dare to use the word “happy.” I feel happy.
I have to tell you, I don’t know where this blog is going to end up… except it’s going to suck. All roads leads to Suckville. And I am really fighting the urge to tie this up and give you a Jimmy lesson, but I am resisting it. I want to honor our commitment to suckiness, but maybe a lesson out of left field would really make it suck.
Let’s keep this simple. How about we all agree that this was one of the worst blogs I have ever written, so we can all move on? In a weird way admitting that to you has given me some hope that I still have some great blogs ahead of me. (This blog not included.) Who would’ve thought that committing to sucking would give me so much freedom and inspiration? I should do it more often.
Fine– I suck and I’m cool with it. I am going out to celebrate the fact that I wrote a blog that sucked. See you next week, and that is how you end a blog that sucks.