A guy who cracked up at his own jokes was Red Skelton; he could not get through a routine without breaking up. Carol Burnett comes to mind as well, as she had terrific laughing jags on camera--recall the Gone with The Wind sketch? The dress made from the drapes? Coming down the stairs. Then there was Steve Allen, a cackling Tonight Show host of the first order--bright, intelligent, a man of many talents. He wrote a number of mysteries, played the piano, wrote some lyrics, and of course married well. In any event, a recent thread on a chat group I am a member of got into the question of Writing as Hard Work, Serious Business, or FUN. I can't stress enough the importance of "having fun with it."
Have fun with it. No matter what your passion, your profession, your aims, goals, dreams. Fun gets a bad rap. People confuse having fun with it as having some sort of less than serious aim. How hard is it to write humor? Harder than drama for most of us. Still, in the act of writing, if it is painful...if it is tearing you up and giving you ulcers, try kicking back and examining YOUR attitude toward the "work" and the pages you are "hammering" out.
Attitude is the one string we can play on, dance on, do acrobatics on. Our personal attitude toward our work often needs adjusting when our first impulse is to say all those around us are the ones needing an attitude adjustment. Certainly so when I start a new class. I have to adjust my attitude to them, and not the other way around if say I want to be "relevant" to them...to be "real" to them. If my attitude is to hide away my entire personal life from my students, that's one approach and attitude that will get one kind of response. If I do the opposite and open myself up too much, that's another. If I find a middle ground, that's another still.
My attitude toward writing was soooooooo damn serious when I started out. I could not have fun with it. Then I decided to write a spoof. Writing a spoof of a mystery, suspense, men's adventure, romance, or a combination of these (toss in horror for good measure), FREES one from the constraints of serious writing. It brings you to a new awareness of what you can accomplish as well. No one knew it at the time of its publication, but the first book I ever done sold was a spoof entitled Sub-Zero (about how much money I made on it is in the title). It was not published as a spoof, as the editor didn't "get it" but it taught me so much about what "they" mean by commercial. I had a blast, a ball, a great load of fun writing Sub-Zero and thereafter, by loosening up, I went on to begin writing two books a year. Now am always including the tongue-in-cheek humor and never holding back on the FUN element in the story, and always seeking the comic relief elements.
Have a FUN-filled writing weekend,