What Keeps Jonathan Ames Up at Night
Jonathan Ames is a writer, boxer, storyteller and, most recently, the creator of the HBO series, "Bored to Death." His books include "The Extra Man" and "Wake Up Sir" and the collection of essays, "The Double Life is Twice as Good." Ames is a frequent performer at the storytelling group, The Moth and has appeared in boxing tournaments as "The Herring Wonder." A graduate of Princeton and Columbia Universities, he lives in Brooklyn.
Question: What keeps you up at night?
Jonathan Ames: Well, a couple of things. Sometimes I might get upset – I’m not very good with confrontation, or anger. I tend to swallow it all down and so if someone’s hurt me, I’m not very good at telling them, “Hey, I’m angry at you.” And so I might stay up late at night trying to figure out in my mind, writing them emails, or trying to figure out how to smooth relations and it’ll keep me up. At the same time, because I’m not good at anger, it must be circulating in my body and if I could just express it someone or accept anger, then maybe I wouldn’t stay up late at night. I think I might stay up worried about letting everyone down if I can’t do a good job or late at night if I’ve been neglectful of people that I care about. I worry about disappointing people, and I think that keeps me up late at night.
Recorded on: November 4, 2009
The writer often loses sleep over the dread of disappointing others.
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