Querying agents and trying to get a novel published can be demoralizing, depressing, and frustrating, Modern Philosophers. And trust me, there are way more words than those three that I could use to describe the process.
It’s important to have distractions to keep my mind off the fact that no one is replying to my query letters. You know, so I don’t completely lose my mind and give up on being a novelist.
The Yankees and Aaron Judge’s home run record chase have been wonderful distractions. I’ve also been hard at work on my next novel.
When that doesn’t work, I’m lucky to be able to fall back on my job as a writer for The Nite Show with Danny Cashman. Last night was the first taping of the new season, and it provided a much needed detour from the path I’ve been careening down lately.
I arrived at the Gracie Theatre to find Danny’s dressing room empty. Here’s a pro tip for my fellow late night TV writers: If the host abandons his dressing room, but leaves the cue cards on the desk, feel free to write your jokes on the cue cards so they are the only ones he tells during his monologue!
Danny wandered in soon after and asked me if I wanted some pizza. So we took a stroll backstage to have something to eat. We talked about Danny’s trip to a Yankees’ game last week, and I asked him what he would have done had be caught Judge’s historic home run ball.
When he couldn’t come up with an immediate answer, I pointed out that he hosts a late night talk show and his first demand should have been that Judge appear as a guest.
How do hosts survive without their writers???
Between shows, I noticed Brad, an actor who often appears in sketches, sitting in the back row. My favorite of Brad’s roles is Dracula, so I walked over and told him it was kind of creepy to be sitting in the theater knowing that Dracula was lurking in the last row.
We got to talking about the next show and the jokes I’d written. He asked me to turn and give him a thumbs up if Danny used one of mine. He then told me he was appearing in a taped bit after the monologue, so I promised to let him know what I thought of it.
Getting to participate in that kind of camaraderie is exactly what I needed, and yet another reason why I love being a part of The Nite Show family.
For the record, Danny did use one of my jokes in that monologue, and Brad’s taped bit was hilarious.
I never know if any of my jokes will make it into the monologue, but when Danny does tell one of them, and the audience reacts positively, it’s a major rush. It’s more than enough to make me forget, at least for a little while, that I haven’t gotten any replies to my query letters.
I am grateful to have The Nite Show to remind me that I am a writer, that people enjoy what I write, and that not all writing provides instantaneous feedback.
So if you’re in the querying trenches like I am, hang in there. If you can get yourself a gig as a TV writer in the meantime, I highly recommend it!
The Nite Show airs on Saturday nights in Maine. You can check out clip on the show’s YouTube channel and follow the show on Twitter and Facebook for more exciting inside information.