New Year's Revelations

By Murissa Shalapata

This year's hypothetical Christmas was held on the 27th as my family and I were away in Oahu for the 25th. This year, my resolution was made for me as I opened an envelope that contained a gym membership. I am appreciative, however, this year I will have two challenging resolutions to keep into consideration as I live out my life in 2010.

During our lengthy flight back to the mainland I had time to read a book that inspired me to inspire future writing in 2010. In 2009 I didn't have trouble coming up with unique stories, however, they weren't my best ideas. So, I opened a book called Born Standing Up as soon as I was settled into the cubicle seating. I was eager to read this book more so than any other as it is written by Steve Martin, and if you have read previous blogs you may understand that he is one of my favorite comic geniuses of all time.
He begins the telling of his autobiography with, "...this book is not an autobiography but a biography, because I am writing about someone I used to know...I often felt like a curious onlooker or someone trying to remember a dream...One can have, it turns out, an affection for the war years" (3). The war years he is referring to is his career in stand-up and the torment, as well as the exciting times that came with the development of his understanding of comedy and life.
I think this book is quite relevant to writers, comics, screenwriters, or anyone who struggles with the pressure of needing to persistently be inspired and creative. A pressure I often feel during my adventures of writing in University.
The most important message of this book (for me) was summed up on page 30, "Through the years, I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration."
This quote resonated with me as I find I often become passionately consumed with an idea that never definitively takes off, however, it almost always inspires a story la
ter on, when I need it. After the engulfment and passion would wither away, I would feel like a fool, resenting the very passion that inspires me from day to day. However, Martin expresses that this inspiration would lead him to new ways of thinking, or new ideas that he would have never had learned if it weren't for so
meone or something putting a little bug in his ear.
The inspiration and passion that often consumes me is a blessing that will forever influence me long into the future. Martin often refers to his College experiences that shaped him in a way that still effects his interests and even past screenplays. He explained his interest in poetry and one can see this interest reflected within the film Roxanne (Schepisi 1987) written by Steve Martin.

And so, my secondary (but most important) resolution is a revelation that I hope will haunt me the rest of my hypothetical future writing career or interest:

To explore the realms of everyday life that may inspire any emotion within me whatsoever. In plain, to be fearless of new exploration within life let alone the year 2010, as you never know what will inspire your next screenplay, joke, or novel.

And with this I leave you a quote that Johnny Carson said to Martin during a commercial break after making the audience riot with laughter, "You'll use everything you know."

May I also add to make sure you watch another comic genius on January 17th, Ricky Gervais who is hosting the Golden Globes. Also tune in for the Oscars on March 7th, with hosts Alec Baldwin and STEVE MARTIN Yay! I cheers my glass of champagne this New Years to all of you and to a glorious year of comedy and inspiration!

Thank you to the following websites for providing photos...


  1. Murissa - I've always loved Steve Martin, too, and thanks for those quotes from his book, which I haven't had a chance to read. Filling the well, as my cousin and I refer to it, is necessary for the creative mind and soul. Whatever it takes to spark your ideas, may the new year be filled with them.

  2. Very inspirational - you gave me chills as I read it - so rare today to find real encouragement. Thank you.

  3. Murissa - what a lovely post. I wish you much inspiration in 2010 and beyond in your writing career and in all aspects of your life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Steve Martin's autobiography with us - I think he's great too ;) Happy New Year!

    P.S. I'm also looking forward to Ricky Gervais on the GG's this year. Should be good.

  4. wonderful post! reminds me of a quote by steve martin
    "I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

  5. I loved this, Murissa. I'm a big fan of Steve Martin's writing, too, which unfortunately hasn't met with the success it deserves. His comedy writing leaves me in tears from laughing so hard, and his fiction is almost lyrical at times. How wonderful he's inspiring other artists to reach beyond self-imposed limits to find something incredible. It can be a tough journey, but well worth it. Here's wishing you an incredible 2010!

  6. Thank you for all your positive comments and happy New Years to all of you!
    Look forward to all of your future posts!


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