The Glamorous Life of a Comedy Writer
by Lynda Renham
You’ve probably heard of all the glamour that goes with being a writer, you know writer awards and all that. Although, all I’ve received so far is an award for my blog, but hey I’m not complaining. That’s writing after all isn’t it? But somehow this glamour thing seems to be bypassing me. The closest I have come to looking glamorous was when I resembled Kate Winslet when our kitchen resembled the decks of the Titanic during the building of our extension, but believe me you don’t want to hear about those floods.
The closest thing to glamour I have come to is reading Glamour magazine. It was here I read an article about Gwyneth Paltrow. Pop over to her blog it said. Learn how to balance being a working woman and housewife. Great I thought. Step aside everyone, glamorous balancing it all writer coming through. So I pop onto her site. After all, they are just normal women like us, right? Somehow Gwyneth manages to look very serene, so she must be well-balanced and organised because her hair always looks great, and somehow she never looks harassed … Unlike yours truly, who likes she has been dragged through a bush backwards. So after much searching I found a nice article on how GP and her friends get through the day so smoothly and decide that this particular Monday I am going to take their advice. Gwyneth’s friend Juliet has some great pointers.
‘I’m an early bird — so I try to seize “Juliet time” first thing in the morning. I get up between 5:30am-6am and quickly scan my email.
What! I don’t mind getting up early but crikey not in the middle of the night. And scan my emails is all I’d need to do at that time of the morning as there is unlikely to be any to read.
‘Then my priority is exercise,’ she continues, ‘If I can work out each day I’m a really happy person. And let’s face it, if you are getting up on a cold morning in the dark it had better be fun.’
Right. This is my first mistake then. My priority has always been to avoid exercise as that has always made me a happy person. As for getting up on a cold morning, well that’s easy, just turn the heating up.
‘Condense your appointments: find a great salon that understands time pressure and can accommodate your schedule. I have a great salon near me that I can go to at the end of the day to have a facial, manicure and pedicure at the same time. I’m in and out in 70 minutes. Not relaxing but efficient. Same for other appointments. I have acupuncture at 9.30pm at night. It’s a wonderful end of the day.’
Of course! Silly me. Now I shall just phone Tracy at my local hairdresser. I am sure she can fit me in for a facial, a manicure and a pedicure. Mind you, with the state I’m in it may take her 24 hours rather than 70 minutes. As for the acupuncture… If I remember that hurts. I rather think a nice glass of Chardonnay is a wonderful end to the day. Okay, you don’t have to remind me of the calories.
Ah ha, now there was I thinking ‘they’ are normal like me? So every morning I need to seize ‘Lynda time’ now would that be the time between cleaning up the cat sick and trying to flatten my hair down?
I’m afraid the glamorous life of a romantic novelist is somewhat different, but I thought I would give you an insight. Warning: it is sometimes sordid and some things mentioned in this article may cause distress to the reader.
I stumble out of bed at around 6.30 … well okay maybe more like 7, oh alright more like 8, and then hobble to the loo while usually groaning. I drag myself downstairs and sit like a zombie on the couch while husband Andrew prepares breakfast. Nothing to healthy about this I am afraid. A bowl of granola with some berries and yogurt, followed by my caffeine shot. A quick shower, a quick drag up of the hair, earrings plonked in and a quick check of the time and I am in my office. Forget any make-up malarkey or quick email check. It’s straight onto Facebook and Twitter for me. After several hours of time wasting on social network sites I open my Word document and stare at my work in progress … and panic. Nothing happens. I wait for a gem of an idea but still nothing. I wait over an hour for some brilliance to occur. Finally, the stress sends me in sheer depression to the kitchen cupboard and the chocolate biscuits. That’s the diet blown. Several hours of pulling my hair out and cursing I drive to the local shop for comfort food. I arrive home to find I can’t park. The mums have come for some meeting at the school. I park with a great deal of road rage and totally block in another car. I check it is successfully blocked in and walk into the house with a sense of satisfaction only to come face to face with carnage. It looks like a murder spree took place while I was out. Dead birds litter the floor and feathers are sticking to the furniture. Wet dirty paw prints are all over the floor and the kitchen units. I scream at the cat who flees outside. I look at the clock and realise that I have wasted a whole morning and written absolutely nothing. I search the shed for a spade to clear up the birds and remember my darling husband still has it in the boot of his car since the snow drifts. I curse again and spend a good thirty minutes getting up the courage to pick up the dead birds with kitchen towel. Finally, I hoover and wash the floor and kitchen counters, and curse yet again for not going to the shops and buying a new mop. Washing floors on my hands and knees is not a pretty sight. I decide to skip lunch and just have a yogurt. My mobile rings. It is Vodafone with some special offer for me. I waste thirty more minutes with them and another fifteen trying to get through to my doctors to book a blood test. Finally, I am back at the computer. And it magically flows. The comedy comes rushing from me and before I know it I have produced 1000 words. I’m still going at it when Andrew walks in. I realise I had completely forgotten to cook dinner. The cat sleeps contently on the couch, his massacre a distant memory.
‘Sorry, I forgot to cook dinner,’ I say.
‘Had a good writing day then?’
Well, erm, kind of.
‘I’ll get us fish and chips from the chip van shall I?’
Well, how more decadent and glamorous can you get than fish and chips from the chip van?
I nod. I’d better pop some make-up on. Well, you never know there may be some paparazzi there.
Lynda Renham is the author of Pink Wellies and Flat Caps, Coconuts and Wonderbras, and Croissants and Jam – all are available on Amazon.