Lately I have been transitioning into freelancing as a humor writer instead of as a really crappy all-purpose article writer. I’m not sure how many of you know this, but writing comedy is apparently a niche that goes unfulfilled by many. Not that I’ve found it easy to land humor jobs, but I have now been required to be hilarious on a nearly daily basis. With the more jobs that I get, the more often I have to be funny. What I’m afraid of is that I will eventually deplete my vast comedy stores and become gradually unfunny until I melt in to a Dane Cook-ian mess of nonhilarity. No one will even grin at my jokes, babies will spit at me, and dogs will find me too loathsome to even bite.
That, and zombies. Zombies and being unfunny.
That said, I have coping techniques with the fear. Here’s a few if you’re feeling a slump in your career, or if you are being pursued by zombies.
- Take cover. If you’re struggling to come up with an idea, hunker down and put yourself in front of the computer screen without distractions. It can help because you’ve probably just been avoiding work for no good reason. Alternately, it is good to not be out in the open if there are zombies roaming the countryside.
- Stock up. If you’re having writer’s block, take other distractions off the table. That means cooking ahead, running all your errands, and getting projects that you know will distract you out of your head. Also, you will need a first-aid kit, at least a month’s supply of water and food (totaling to 1 L and 1 kilo per person), a weapon, 100 bullets or other such ammo, a set of flares, and loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Aim for the head. Simply put, you have to get your juices flowing. But you can’t force this sort of thing. It’s okay to take a day off and figure out what’s going on. And it’s okay to recharge the batteries. Being funny and/or creative is something that has to come to you. It doesn’t hurt to keep a few technical clients for whom you can do basic work that doesn’t involve your vital energy. As for zombie-related advice, this should be obvious by now.
- Brainstorm. It can’t hurt to sit down and write a ton of ideas about what you’d like to do. If you aren’t sure, just start to think of aspects of work that should help you. I have a month’s backlog of article ideas right now because I did this. If you are in a zombie situation, a brainstorm is a horrifying onslaught of zombie after zombie trying to storm the building to eat your brains. May it never happen to you.
Hope these help! And remember, head for deserted areas, because the cities are always the first to go.