Perspiration Break: Humor

I’ve already written a few posts about what inspires me and my upcoming novel, so I thought I’d take a break from Inspiration Breaks and instead tell you about my biggest challenges when writing. If you read the title, then you already know what it is: humor. Comedy. More specifically, it’s intentional humor. Funny moments can happen organically when I write if I’m not trying to write for laughs, but the moment I want to say something humorous, my mind goes blank.

Write something funny. Do it! Do it now!

See? That’s hard. At least, it is for me. I can be funny with my friends, though I’m not the one that cracks the jokes. Yet that feels natural to me. As soon as I start thinking about it, I can’t come up with anything.

My frustrations with humorous writings have made me all the more astonished by professional comedians and those who write jokes for a living. I can’t even come up with a single line. How do you do it for an entire sitcom or stand up special?

I suppose there is just a certain logic with comedy that eludes me. Or maybe it’s that there isn’t logic to it and that confuses me? I dunno.

To be fair, I haven’t read books about how to write funny. But at this point, I’m not sure it would help. I’m already convinced I don’t have that comedy gene. And you won’t find me writing anything that belongs in the humor section.

I’ve found that keeping the tone light, or going in a completely insane direction could substitute for a few belly laughs. And I am good with going crazy.

When I go back and read my own work, I’m always surprised when I come across a genuinely funny moment that I didn’t intend to write. Where did that come from? I wish I could just summon it on demand. Instead, I’ll just be staring at that cursor, wondering how much longer I have to wait until I can admit that I have to play it straight at this point.

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