Thursday, May 6, 2010
The overwhelming pressure to be funny
When asked why I don't write much on my blog, my answer is always, I don't have much to say.
That's not entirely true.
The truth is, I don't have anything funny to say.
As a writer of wit and humor, there is overwhelming pressure to always be on, always be funny. Like a monkey doing tricks, I'm supposed to make people laugh.
Most of the time, I'm just not that funny.
As evidenced by this post.
Being funny is a lot of work. While throwing out a quip at a party, or slapping together a one-liner in response to a straight man is relatively easy for me, it's much harder to be both sides of the conversation and create from nothing something that makes your sides hurt. I have a great deal of respect for the pros who seem to be able to do it with ease, like Dave Barry and Christopher Moore. But I bet if you ask them, it's the same way for them.
Being funny is hard.
And there's not a secret button you can push to turn the funny on. Like method actors, I'm a method writer. When I'm writing a particularly harsh scene in a book, it's easy to turn on angry music or sad music, and get myself into whatever mood I need to get through that scene. But when I'm not feeling funny, it's impossible to sit down and BE funny. I could put on a comedian who I like, but then I'm just enjoying someone else's jokes, and I find myself rehashing the same old lines someone else has already told.
Now I feel like I need a classic poop joke to give this post closure.
See? Overwhelming pressure.