I hate when things come to an end. I can’t believe I’ve blogged my way through all of the prompts in the I HATE EVERYTHING JOURNAL already. It went so quickly. I’ve invested three months of my life and lots of my soul to write my way through this book. Sometimes it was hard, but I’m so glad I did.
I found the journal in the bookstore just after I returned from Chicago where I’d spent a week studying Improv at the Second City Training Center. This book could not have found its way into my hands at a more significant time. I had just spent a week learning to trust whatever suggestion is given and follow it. The suggestion is always right. The story will tell itself. The truth wants to be told. I applied these things to the prompts in the journal, and I was always amazed with the results.
As I was working my way through the journal, I felt like some of the prompts were truly inspired. I felt like they helped me to tap into some part of my subconscious that can usually only be tapped into in dreams–like there was something almost Jungian about the images in some of the prompts.
For example, one of the earliest prompts was on kitten calendars. I don’t give much thought to kitten calendars usually, and I had no idea where the prompt would take me. What could I possibly hate about kitten calendars? Then I started writing, and as I wrote the calendar became a symbol for time itself. Time is something I spend a lot of time thinking about and hating. The contrast between the cuteness of kittens and the harshness of time was just the kind of thing I could really sink my teeth into. It was the just the kind of Thomas Kinkade picture of reality that really gets my blood boiling.
See, what I mean? The prompt was just inspired. I found this to be true over and over again. If the prompt was about erasers, I wrote about mistakes. If the prompt was about spin the bottle, I wrote about regret. I loved the directions the prompts would take me if I just followed the images wherever they wanted to go.
When I interviewed Matthew DiBenedetti, I asked him how he went about writing the prompts for the journal and he said something that really struck me. He said, “…I wanted to build up to a big finish, that one big thing that they [the journal writer] really hate, that one thing that just might be the underlying hate of ‘em all.”
I was in awe because I had just finished one of my final rants and as I was writing it, I had realized the source of my hate. It was apathy. I hate apathy. I feel compelled to rant about all the things that concern me because I want other people to care too. Apathy and complacency scare me. I have to do whatever I can to stop complacency. Once I realized this, I knew I could love myself for who I am: a hater.
Now that I’m through the book, what comes next? I’m just not ready for this to come to an end, so I think I’ll continue to rant with no prompts to guide me, just whatever suggestions life throws my way. And I hope that as I continue to rant, you’ll continue to read.
Thanks to all of you for listening for the past few months as I ranted my way through each day!