Making Dreams Come True for Comics and Speakers since 1984
  Judy Carter's Comedy Workshops  

Sawing Through Writer’s Block

Anyone else finding it’s hard to come up with new material for yourself?

If you find yourself still doing references to Monica Lewinsky's stained blue dress, MC Hammer's bankruptcy, and Bob Dole doing E.D. ads, you might want to add some new life into your old act.

I too have blocks coming up with new comedy material.  It’s weird how I can dish out punch lines for my students, yet I don’t seem to find the time to work on my own act.  I’m considering myself lucky that Newt Gingrich is back in the news so my 1992 Speaker of the House jokes can have a second life.  (Now if only Dan Quayle would join the Republican primaries, I’d look prolific.)

I’m not sure why I get stuck.  Maybe it’s just laziness -- or maybe it’s that I put my commitment to others ahead of my own writing needs. I know that whenever I’m hired to write material for someone else, I make time-specific dates, hold laser-like focus on them for hours, and show up stone cold sober.

I’m guessing I’m not the only person with this issue, so I want to ask all the co-dependent writers out there -- is it possible to have this same level of commitment to our OWN work?  Why can’t we create the same level of focus and urgency for ourselves - and use that concentration to break through the mental logjams?

I’ve pondered that question -- and I’ve come up with five quick tips for speakers and comics to get past your writer’s block and infuse your presentation with shiny new bits:

1.    Get yourself a comedy or a speaking buddy to jam material with.  Your ideas need to be run by someone else before they go public. Writing new material for ourselves is next to impossible without involving others.  I wouldn’t be able to write this blog once a week if I didn’t have an assistant who zaps me with a cattle prod every Monday to deliver it.  I couldn’t write a book without an editor -- and a deadline. Writing might look solitary, but most of us work in teams. So -- go post on social.comedyworkshops.com to find a buddy.
2.    Get yourself a gig.  A gig or a speech looming on your calendar will be the motivation you need to get yourself in gear.
3.    Commit to doing at least three new minutes every time you perform. Feeling insecure about that?  Then “hammock” your new material in between two proven bits to give you confidence -- and something you can compare the audience response for the new material against.
4.    Write 10 minutes every morning without judging or editing.  Just write, and don’t look at it at all until you get together with your comedy buddy.  If you judge what you write as you’re trying to create, it will inhibit you. You can circumvent that my covering up your computer screen while you type.  Once you’re with your comedy buddy, find the gems among the raw material, and use some of the formulas in “The Comedy Bible”  to polish it or create more new content based on your ideas.
5.    If you’re really stuck, just write a joke right now using the “List of Three” formula. (1. Subtle thing, 2. Subtle thing, 3. HUGE and OBVIOUS thing.)

Example:  There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You’re not communicating...
2. You’re not getting love notes anymore... and
3.  WRITE THE JOKE HERE.

Let me read your jokes.  Post them in the blog comments.

-Judy Carter

Author of The Comedy Bible, Motivational-Humorist, and Comedy Coach  

26 comments:

Yvonne Conte said...

There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You’re not communicating...
2. You’re not getting love notes anymore... and
3. You're clothes are in a plastic bag on the lawn!

Wolf-the-tiger said...

Example: There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:

1. You’re not communicating...

2. You’re not getting love notes anymore... and

3. the used condom in the trash can is not yours.

erin said...

his boyfriends stopped calling.

MichaelJTWard said...

There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You're not communicating...
2. You're not getting love notes anymore...and
3. You entered the Witness Protection Program.

Scott Wood said...

You received the restraining order in
the mail!

Scott Wood said...

Her husband asked you to stop calling...

Kimsson said...

There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You're not communicating...
2. You're not getting love notes anymore... and
3. You didn't get invited to her wedding.

You know that you've failed with your dogs training if:
1. The dog doesn't come when you call
2. The dog destroys your favourite book.
3. the dog is prisoner 171 at guantanamo.

3 clues to that you are not going to keep your job:
1. Your boss stops talking to you.
2. Your coworkers stops talking to you.
3. You're going postal.

erin said...

the walls won't talk to you and you smell.

DUNCAN TROUT said...

Example: There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You're not communicating...
2. You're not getting love notes anymore... and
3. She doesn't break out in tears and say 'Please forgive me' after she stabs you.

Anonymous said...

There's a voodoo doll where she used to keep her vibrator.

Tom McMullan said...

There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:

1. you're not communicating
2. you're not getting love notes anymore...and
3. your wife ran off with your mistress and they now live together in West Hollywood!

Bev Feldman said...

There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You're not communicating...
2. You're not getting love notes anymore... and
3. There's a "for rent" sign on her pillow.

There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You're not communicating...
2. You're not getting love notes anymore... and
3. For your birthday she gave you a horse's head and a candle.

There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You're not communicating...
2. You're not getting love notes anymore... and
3. She set up your profile on Match.com.

David Boyd said...

There are three subtle clues that your relationship is over:
1. You’re not communicating...
2. You’re not getting love notes anymore... and
3. You're girlfriend's idea of the silent treatment involves sleeping with a mime.

Tim said...

Yeah, well, you do get love notes but they're from you to you, and you keep misspelling your name.

Anonymous said...

Rosie hopes her bariatric surgery ԝill inspire othеr obese peoploe tօ lose weight, overhaul tҺeir diets and exercise.

Thhe normal ɑnd healthy way of losing weight ρuts a ccap of no more thɑn οne kiloogram (i.
Remember, tɦe human body must havee both omega-3
fatty acids ρlus omega-6.

Feel free to surf tо my page - loosing weight

Anonymous said...

No matter if some one searches for his essential thing, thus he/she
needs to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.



My weblog ... Hay Day Hack

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask.

Does operating a well-established blog such as yours take a large
amount of work? I'm completely new to running a blog however I do write in my journal every
day. I'd like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and thoughts
online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.
Thankyou!

My web blog - live cams sex

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this,
like you wrote the book in it or something.
I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit,
but instead of that, this is great blog.
An excellent read. I'll certainly be back.

Also visit my blog: Lean Fast and Premium Cleansing Deluxe

Anonymous said...

I am sure this post has touched all the internet users, its really really pleasant article on building up new blog.


My website legal herbal incense

Anonymous said...

of course like your website but you need to check the spelling on several of your
posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to inform the reality however I will surely
come again again.

Also visit my web blog :: شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to find out what blog platform you have been utilizing?
I'm having some minor security problems with my latest site
and I'd like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any recommendations?


my blog post; شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض

Anonymous said...

Keep this going please, great job!

My homepage; vip car transport krakow

Anonymous said...

Because of that, it's an extremely natural instinct for those
we've known and loved, who are now around the
Other Side, to reach in the market to us. Talking to girls
in Facebook is simple, equally as long when you take the time being genuine about it.
The most typical door locks are Schlage and Kwikset, most Schlages are C-keyways
and Kwiksets are almost all a similar keyway, and also the most
common padlock is Masterlock, most which use the same
keyway.

Also visit my weblog: jeu poker

Anonymous said...

This car has a strong build and well known for its great safety credentials.
The Bugatti Veyron is a very impressive car, powered by a W-16-cylinder 8.

Consider buying a zero-sulfur fuel model if you are planning to use this car in
the sporting field running at a high speed.

Also visit my blog post; New Audi A3

Anonymous said...

I always used to study paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of net thus
from now I am using net for articles, thanks to web.


Here is my page steam wallet codes - ,

Anonymous said...

Playing video games may be antisocial, so be sure
to make time to socialize with other gamers online.
Game rating range from EC, which means Early Childhood, up to AO, which stands
for Adults Only. The majority of games include audio sections in their menus.


Here is my web-site; clash of clans