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Saturday, July 28, 2012

How Erma Bombeck nearly ruined my blog

Erma Bombeck is ruining this blog. Oh, she doesn't mean to do it. And I don't mean to be bad-mouthing the mother of all funny mothers. But, I have not been hitting my stride on this blog and I have Erma to thank (or blame) for it.

Three months ago, I attended the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop at the University of Dayton. It was -- hands down -- THE best conference I have ever attended. I met and talked with and laughed with and learned from so many terrific writers. Ilene Beckerman, Karen Walrond, Tracy Beckerman (no relation to Ilene), Alan Zweibel on the famous side. And plenty of up-and-comers like Ott Mama and The Bearded Iris. (Oh and YOU too, I can't list everyone.)

And with all those brushes with greatness, all that time spent with funny people, I kind of lost my way. I think I'm funny. But now I feel under pressure to deliver the funny. All. the. Time. The truth is, funny takes time. Sure, I can come up with witty one-liners and am pretty handy with rib-tickling rhetoric. Delivering that every time my fingers hit the keyboard is a tall order.

Plus, even Erma found herself among the pits in her own bowl of cherries from time to time. My life is good -- very good, even -- but not every day is a gut-buster. Before the Erma conference, I felt like I could put that out here in this space. Now, it feels like a betrayal of humor writers everywhere.

But here's the deal: this space is my space. Sometimes it will be funny. Sometimes it will be wrought with exasperation. Sometimes, it will be my own brand of nonsense. Other times you'll come here and get a glimpse of where I am spiritually. Whatever it is, I promise -- you and myself -- it will be me. The good, the bad and the funny.


Nancy said...

I love reading your blog, whatever your mood pressure!

Jennifer said...

I don't read your blog just for laughs. I enjoy all types of writing and I look forward to whatever you write.

Rachel said...

Oh my goodness - there are entire weeks that go by where I don't post because I can't find the funny! I am completely intimidated by funny writers - so glad to know that people way funnier than I still work at it! :)

SkippyMom said...

Thank goodness for humor in our life. We live a pretty nice life in my family and the best part is that most of the time we are laughing hysterically about something or other.

Problem is it just doesn't translate into the written word [on my blog] so I don't even try anymore. I just tell it like it is and if the Tadpoles get it, great. If not, I know they are sitting at their computer, shaking their heads and mumbling "Goof. There she goes again."

They still love me - just as I am sure your friends do too. No one can be "on" all the time, right?

And Erma was the BEST! I still miss her.

Unknown said...

You know, it was at EBWW that I realized I am NOT a humor writer. I really thought I was. I am funny, but I am not a humor writer. That realization has been incredibly liberating–so much so that I'm halfway through the roughs on a book.[Insert a bunch of implied stuff here about finding your own unique voice.]In summary, I know what you mean.

Ellen aka Ellie said...

Write what you want!

Shell said...

Your blog- you get to write what you want. :)

Tamara Lyon said...

I hear you about pressure to be funny. I'm an author and a speaker, and when I'm giving speeches, my goal is to make people laugh. But, sometimes the audience is rough, and sometimes, I'm even rougher. Who the hell can be funny all the time? I wish I had the ability to be witty on my feet, but I usually am falling flat on my face.

Be yourself and blog yourself, funny or not, it's genuine, and all of us can relate to someone who's real!