Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to be a Successful Unsuccessful Humor Writer

Michele Young-Stone

Michele Young-Stone is a terrific new writer on the American literary scene and her debut novel The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors has won praise from readers and critics alike coast to coast.  It is so good that I actually read it!,  a major testament to any book in that I am someone so ill-read I think Huckleberry Finn is a type of pie served only at Red Lobster.

That's why I was surprised when Michele asked me several weeks ago if I would like to author a guest post for her blog, Michele Young-Stone, Novelist.  Now normally in the course of life I'm not asked to do much more than shut up and stand in the corner, so Michele's request caught me quite off guard. True, I wasn't the only person Michele asked to do a guest post, but I was one closest to the top of the list alphabetically and I shot back my acceptance before the more distinguished guy named "Bluch" could even answer the phone.

So I felt myself to be indeed humbled and honored by her request.  Although now that I think about it, does it really make sense to be both humbled and honored?  Aren't they opposites?  Anyway,  I set about coming up with a topic for the post that would provide Michele's readers with insight, erudition, and  a wee touch of wit, hoping that O for three wouldn't be bad.

"Write what you know" is a credo to which many writers subscribe and I subscribe to it as well, primarily because I got a t-shirt and 50% off my subscription. Thus I decided to write about what I know best these days which is writing a humor blog, or to be more precise, writing this humor blog. So I am happy to provide for Michele a post entitled "How to be a Successful Unsuccessful Humor Writer,"  (which also appears below), which I sincerely hope will help inspire,  guide, and support eager new humor writers in  falling on their faces just as successfully as I have these last few years.  

Lotsa luck, everyone!

And thank you again for this opportunity, Michele.  I am humbled.  And honored.

But not both at the same time.


How to be a Successful Unsuccessful Humor Writer
The Internet has indeed afforded a tremendous amount of opportunity to a great many people that never existed in the past, and in no area of human endeavor is this truer than that of the literary arts.  Today there are more ways than ever before to successfully become a failed writer.  
And I should know.

I am a successful unsuccessful humor writer.   You may find it difficult to believe, but it was only four short years ago I began writing a humor blog entitled "Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute."  Back in those days I was a callow inexperienced unsuccessful humor writer. Fast forward four years and all that has changed dramatically; today I stand before you as a veteran experienced successful unsuccessful humor writer. 

And you can be too.  Here's how:

Why become a humor writer?  Everybody secretly desires to become a writer.  You don't have to get up early, you can rock a turtleneck any time you want, and in some circles you may be considered an intellectual even if you think health care reform is a branch of Judaism exclusively for hypochondriacs. And being a humor writer is the easiest kind of writer to be because you just make up everything.   No research, no fact-checking, it's like being a Republican. 

How did you begin humor 
blogging? Several years ago I came to the realization that I had many unexpressed thoughts, ideas, hopes, dreams, desires, and aspirations. They are none of your damn business!  So I thought I'd write me some schlock comedy instead.  

How long have you been humor blogging? Oh, about an hour or so. Actually I'm due for a bathroom break.  

Where do you get your ideas?   Mostly from China.  I also import a smattering of ideas from several other Asian countries and a few from a real funny fat guy in Bolivia. Don't get me wrong, I’d love to source ideas from the United States, but frankly I've gotten zero customer service attempting to call the Help Desk for an idea that isn't working! 

Are there any tricks to humor writing?   There sure are!  Uhh, know any?

Isn't it important to have a quirky mind or vivid imagination? 
 Nah, my imagination's about as fertile as the concrete on I-95. To be a successful unsuccessful humor writer the stuff only has to be as funny as the small print on an internet affidavit you have to click "yes" on or you don't get to upgrade.

How successfully unsuccessful are you?  
I don't wanna brag, but I am totally unknown outside of Michele Young-Stone, and even she won't return my calls.  

Do you have a writing schedule or regimen?   
Yes, I do.  

What is it, jerk?   Oh yeah, sorry!  I awaken at 6:00 A.M., brush my teeth if it's Thursday, then I head down to the kitchen to resuscitate yesterday's coffee. I check my e-mail, put on Good Morning America and check my brain, then go back to bed. Whenever I get up, I write a bunch of stuff if I'm not too nauseous.

Do you ever struggle with Writers' Block?  Gee, I can’t think of a thing to write about that.  Yeah, coming up dry here.  Sorry.

Can you guarantee I too will be a successful unsuccessful humor writer? Absolutely!  To be a success in the humor writing business you have to have talent, drive, desire, and determination.  If you had any of these things, you'd be doing something constructive instead. 

 Thus, your successful unsuccess is assured!



Russell said...

Congrats, Perry. I'm both humbled and honored just to know someone who's been asked to do a guest post on a great author's blog. I can't wait to read the great tips that will help me become even more unsuccessful as a humor writer.

Perry Block said...

I'm sorry, Russell, but you have too much talent to become an even more unsuccessful humor writer. I hate to have to break it to you this way, but you'll just have to get used to the money, fame, cars, and sex with gorgeous women, including Scarlett Johansson.

Russell, no, no, don't do it, it's not all that bad! Look at the bright side, you can still hang with a complete loser like me!