This post is not about the canceled show Smash*, but how it made me think about my life. For the record I do not wish to dance on Broadway, but if I did I’d like to be in a play about a bank robbery. If there’s one thing that’s missing from bank robberies it’s spontaneous song and dance. If you’ve attempted to rob a bank and have failed, perhaps that’s why. Next time try asking for all the money to the tune of I Dreamed a Dream.
Each episode of Smash made me jealous; perhaps jealous is too strong a word. I found myself wistful of the characters on screen, and not for the predictable reasons of effortless hair, active social lives, or set designer quality interior design. Okay, maybe a little bit for the interior design—I wanted a piano in an unused part of a much larger house than the one I currently occupy. What a fantastic problem to have, a huge unused space.
I was envious of how obsessed and devoted the characters were with their careers and craft. As someone who always thought they wanted love, marriage and babies (in that order, I know that makes me a weirdo), this fictional show made me realize I wanted to be obsessed with my profession. This isn’t news, per se, but it was a wake up call.
It’s been years since I’ve been engrossed by a creative project (Jaden Baker was the last time I lost sleep and forwent meals). I miss it. I miss new ideas, the agony of wanting to finish something wonderful; I miss banging my head against a desk trying to find the right phrasing. I miss fictional characters who flip me the bird because they hate my suggestions and insist I just document what they do, come on lady you have ONE JOB, just write what I do! I miss being overwhelmed and happy from something of my own—and only my own—creation.
So here’s how I’m going about my refreshed desire to be creative and become a workaholic (as long as it’s on my own terms. I shalt not be ensnared in open office politics):
- Find a desk configuration which isn’t a slow torture chamber of neck and shoulder pain-inducing Hell, invented by some sadist who’s demented enough to dwell in the shady corners of my sick, sick mind.
- Write every day, even if it’s about sour cream, dandelions, or a canceled show I had to stream through my iPhone to my Apple TV, a system which intermittently cuts out just to test my already limited technological patience.
- Try to read a new book at least once a week. I read a lot, but not always books. I get all caught up in new articles and silly clickbait nonsense from design blogs about the five things I should or shouldn’t be doing. Read a book, you. Just do it.
- Find inspiration away from the desk by getting outside into this cool place called Fresh Air. I need to go to a new place at least once in a week, and break the routine.
- Judge more, love less. Just kidding. Sort of…
Has a work of fiction ever inspired you to better yourself?
*How did I discover this canceled, show? You may well ask! Because my social life is too small to measure (even in centimeters), and I’d vegged my way through all the shows on Netflix that were semi-interesting and did not revolve around the graphic sex lives of female prisoners, I had to watch a DVD I already own. Courtney has two sides to her: darkly twisted and hopelessly cheery, and on this night I voted to be The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music rather than Die World Die. Pitch Perfect went in the DVD player, aca-of course. One of the adverts I usually zip passed was for NBC’s Smash, an entire series devoted to a Broadway musical of Marilyn Monroe. Seed planted, a few days later I looked it up on Amazon streaming and, viola, there it was.
Header image courtesy of Newsweek.