by Andy Capp
It was a dark and stormy Monday. Our hero had bravely hacked down the mountain of completed Production orders, irreg sheets and precariously balanced reels, cassettes and DAT tapes all stacked high by the legions of Weekend DJs.
In relief, he gazed at the narrow bit of desk he had just cleared. In despair he stared at the wide expanse of desk still filled with work. Where to begin, when faced with reams of ASAPs? Where else? Grabbing his mug, he headed for the coffee pot, trying not to spill the Bitter End turned science project from Friday. WAIT! Danger!!! Faintly, down the hall he heard an ominous “Click! Click! Click!” As the sound grew louder, sharper, his eyes darted back and forth. He searched vainly for a hiding place...too late. Taking a deep breath, he grimly turned to face his fate. The salesrep swooped down on him, the hideous multi-spot order in hand. CONCERT spots...spots that HAD to be played by 10.
Yeeeeeoooowww!!! I hate feedback!!!
Hey, I had to get your attention!
No, no, not again! Why do you always show up to interrupt?
Your column? I gotta tell you, bunkie, it was really going nowhere anyway. You’re going to ruin my reputation!
Your reputation?! Hey, for the last couple of years since you “dropped in” on a column, I’ve been the one living down the fact that I’ve actually had a real conversation with my Muse!
Don’t let them fool you, pal. From time to time lots of Production folk have a heart to heart with their own Muse!
But never quite this public! Couldn’t you show up, like...when I’m taking a shower or something?!
Yeech! Steady stomach!!!
Okay, I’ll give you that, but you know what I mean!
I KNOW that you could use a shot of Creative inspiration right now, and that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m always here.
So where were you last Wednesday when I beat my head bloody against a wall getting something written for that shoe store?
Fill-in, Corporate Golf League. So sue me!
Look, this may be both mildly entertaining and amusing to you, but I really need to finish this column.
Great, let’s get to it! You’ve really been messing up lately, and I’m sure everyone could learn something from your mistakes. Maybe even you!
Oh gee, thanks.
Like the I.R.S., I’m here to help.
Except on Wednesdays....
AHEM! First off, this desk is a disaster!
STOP right there! Since when does a Creative Muse care about order and organization?
Since you got so disorganized that there’s only room for Panic up here! I didn’t sign up for standing room only, you know!!!
Geez, I’m not the greatest housekeeper, but you’re saying it’s keeping me from creating???
Hey, I need room to stretch my legs! I need the option of strolling through the brain bank, or lounging at a window seat on the world! I need SPACE, man! And I don’t mean to be rude, but Panic is one FAT character!!!
So other than the other than the obvious drawbacks of being disorganized...
... it also makes it impossible to focus! Like the other day, you couldn’t come up with a moving sale spot for that craft store, all because the other things you needed to get done right away kept popping in your head, distracting you, worrying you, inviting Panic in and pushing me out!
Well, it did take forever to finish that script.
And you weren’t all that happy with the finished product, were you?
Point taken. Organization will free up my brain to deal with the creative at hand. I’ll haul in the big recycling bin and get a ’97 calendar for the Day Runner. Now then, I really need to be writing.
Wait a minute, crab butt, there’s more! You need an attitude adjustment!
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?! WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH MY ATTITUDE?!?!
Do I really have to answer that?
I think I have a right to be a little short, considering this interruption!
So an interruption gives you the right to be “a little short?” That explains why you’ve been biting the head off every rep that makes the mistake of sticking the target in your cube lately.
Listen, we’ve been swamped lately. Is it my fault that some people aren’t observant enough to notice that I’m busy and shouldn’t be disturbed?
And is it their fault that shit happens, and that you’re the one they look to for help?
To clean up the mess, you mean!
Half full, half empty. Look at it as you will. The point is (besides the fact that you’re getting the rep of a giant, self-absorbed pain), I’m drowning in all the negativity. The whole point of creating is opening up to new ideas, saying yes to new possibilities...not shutting up in a little world whose major export is “NO!”
Okay, thinking about it, I MIGHT have been too hard on a few people...
...and opened the door to another space hog up here...Guilt! You’re making other people feel bad, which makes you feel bad, which keeps you from creating good work, which makes people feel worse. CHILL OUT! You’re just causing more problems in an already stressed out time!
They CAN really be thoughtless, you know.
Then be thoughtful and know you’ll take care of it all. You always have.
Fine, I’ll...work on it. No, really, see the smile? Ned Flanders, eat your heart out. Now, if there’s nothing else....
Just one more thing.
Putting things off. Despite what you seem to believe, I don’t enjoy a constant diet of adrenaline.
Gotta give those ideas time to simmer!
I’ve got news for you. They’re boiling over. Smoke is rising. 911 has been called, and Panic and Guilt are enjoying blackened brain cells.
But I’m used to being the last second miracle worker!
The “miracle” is that you ever get anything creative done this way! Yes, you need time. I need time for great creative, but there’s a difference between giving yourself time to create and procrastinating. And brother, your leaning towards the latter! Take your column, for example....
Which I really do need to finish, so if you don’t mind?
No problem; tee time is in 15 minutes anyway. Just let me leave you with this. Those tennis shoes might be the most comfortable thing you’ve ever worn, but if they’re full of holes and stink, you really need a new pair.
You’re my Muse, all right.
I wasn’t the one that put things off until I had to beg for a deadline extension.