I think an excellent way to become a better humor writer is to laugh more. Here are some ideas for getting your giggles on.
#1: Watch and read funny stuff
I pretty much covered this in my post on homework, but this isn't so much about studying what you're watching as just exposing yourself to it. There's a time and place for pulling things apart and dissecting them. But it's also important to let yourself enjoy something and laugh.
Need some suggestions? (Keep in mind I write for kids!)
For movies, I'd suggest Secondhand Lions, The Spy Next Door, Zoom and Around the World in 80 Days.
As for books, I'd go with any of the Alcatraz books by Brandon Sanderson, M.T. Anderson's Pals in Peril books, the Lunch Lady graphic novels by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell.
|Seriously, the Lunch Lady rocks.|
Do silly spontaneous things. Get a game of Kick the Can or Steal the Flag going in your backyard. Play games that make you laugh! We can't get a game of Do You Love Your Neighbor? going without laughing at each other. Here's some other fun parlor games.
#3: Find the humor.
We all have rough, horrible and downright miserable moments. But train yourself to find the humor in them! Recently I was at Wal-mart with my daughters. And, boy, it was quite the trip.
|This is not a picture of my girls at Walmart.|
This is them being cute and happy at the beach. But I sure wish going to Walmart and
going to the beach had more in common. Especially if my girls stayed this happy the whole time.
Now remember that I'm 7 months pregnant. I'm tired and somewhat uncomfortable pretty much all the time. I was hoping to get through the store fairly quickly. Yes. I'm an insane optimist. We grabbed a few things here and there and then stopped to look for something in the toy aisles. The girls kept wanting to look at one more thing. But I finally managed to pry them away.
Then we stopped in the baby section. Molly, my 2 year old, kept finding cute little baby clothes she wanted to show me. The first sign that things were headed sharply downhill was when she grabbed a sweet little baby girl outfit and while looking at it, turned to show it to me. She didn't realize I'd started to move the cart. And I didn't notice she wasn't watching where she was going. She smacked into the cart. With her forehead. Hard.
After many many tears later, we managed to get moving again. On to the milk and yogurt. Molly and Zoe were walking beside me. I grabbed some refridgerated biscuits and then turned to go snag some eggs. But when I got to the eggs, which is about...hmmmm...15 feet from the biscuits, Molly came shooting toward me crying and screaming like the devil himself had jumped out of a can of biscuits to snag her. Finally, after much hugging and soothing, I realized she thought I'd left her there.
She thought I'd abandoned her in the biscuit aisle at Wal-mart.
Ok. We got that one sorted out. Then it was up and down the food aisles. We were in the chips and candy aisle. Zoe asked me about Mike and Ikes, she was wondering about the whole Ikes name crossed out thing. And what is the deal with that anyway? Did the names of the candy have some kind of arguement and they've ditched Ike? I don't know. But I answered her and when she put it back on the shelf, she knocked other candy boxes off. I told her to pick them up. Then I moved down the aisle and into the next one. But I stopped, waiting for her to come down the aisle and see me.
She did. But she was bawling.
Zoe thought I'd ditched her in the candy section of Wal-mart.
Now, granted if you have to be left at Wal-mart, the candy section is better than the refridgerated biscuit aisle, but what was going on?
I wanted out of Walmart. And fast.
I finally got the shopping done. We got out of the store without anymore major problems.
But later as I was sharing this with my mom, we both got to laughing. Because I finally saw the humor. What was with my girls? It was like they had suddenly developed this fear that I was going to take them to Walmart and run away, leaving them to fend for themselves in the discounted Land of Blue. They acted as though I regularly took them places, only to wait for their backs to be turned to I could high tail out of there.
My silly and wonderful girls.
Make sure you're laughing at yourself quite a bit. Laugh when you break a glass. Laugh when you say things wrong. Laugh at your hair when it doesn't cooperate. Laugh at your odd quirks or the extra pudge you have around your middle. Laugh when you get things completely wrong. Just laugh!
#5: Funny friends
Hang out with people who make you laugh. And I'm not saying, go visit someone so you can laugh at them. I figured I better say that, otherwise I'd probably have a lot of people wanting to come hang out with me.
But surround yourself with people that make you laugh. That help you see the humor in your days and in theirs.
Do you play any games that make you laugh? Have any stories of horrible moments that were funny later? Do you find it easy to laugh at yourself?