Writing New Material (aka "AHHHHHHH!!!")

I’ve been making a living from performing comedy for more years than I like to reveal, and yet, writing new material still sends me into a state of panic.

I had a client rebook me for a 60 minute program. I accepted and then found out that it’s going to be the same audience. Oye! This gave me two months to come up with a new act. So, after procrastinating for the first month, I started working on the speech and I was immediately hit with a wave of insecurity and self loathing. I think my inner critic is channeling Simon Cowell. Every joke I wrote warranted a comment from my inner critic, “That sucks! That is the worst joke I’ve ever heard. I thought you were supposed to be an expert.”

But after a few weeks of writing total crap, things started to change. So, I thought I would give my peeps some suggestions that helped me.

Tips for writing new material:

1. Write it. Force yourself to write non directed material first thing in the morning. Do it for ten minutes without stopping. Writing first thing in the morning from bed you have a better chance accessing your subconscious and finding some gold nuggets there. Your dog, kids, and Facebook updates can wait 10 minutes.

2. Walk it. Take your ideas out for a walk. Get away from the computer and perform your jokes and half baked ideas out loud. Have a Bluetooth headset in your ear, so no one will think that you’re a crazy person.

3. Rewrite it. Get back to the computer and rework your material after your walk. Incorporate any new ideas that you came up with while you were walking.

4. Skype it. Now with Skype, your comedy buddy doesn't need to live in the same city as you. Stay tuned as we will have a new comedy buddy forum to hook you up with like minded comedy buddies to work out your jokes.

5. Stick with it. It took me two weeks to come up with the right “act-out” to a premise. Comedy seems to happen in it’s own time and if you keep with it, you might get lucky.

6. Perform it. My gig is in May, and I’m starting to go from fear to excitement as I see the material develop. And if you need more help -- new classes start next week. I hope to see you there as I can help you to also go from frantic to focused.

Judy Carter
"Laughing your way out of Stress"

1 comment:

  1. Good tips Judy. I was out of the house today trying to break a funk. :)


Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.