This is the Twenty First entrant in The Blogging Essay Contest from WeblogToolsCollection.com If you would like to participate, please email me your entry at mark at wltc dot net. Please rate this article using the star system below. The competition will be judged primarily on the input from readers like you. Thank you.
This is written by Brad Finn
I am not a serious guy. Well, thatâ€™s not entirely true.
Damn it, Iâ€™ve begun by lying to you. I am off to a bad start. Please let me try again.
I can be a serious guy when it comes to my job or paying my mortgage or when I am in court defending myself against a totally trumped up charge of statutory rape (hey, she showed me her driverâ€™s license, how was I supposed to know it was a fake?)
But for the most part, the writing I do for my blog is not serious. My focus is humor. Now, by humor I donâ€™t mean knock-knock jokes or where to find the best deals on joy buzzers, although joy buzzers are certainly fun. Can we all agree on that?
My blogging is an extension of my sarcastic, angst-ridden, and absurd take on life and that is exactly my intention. I want it to be light, because that is where the bulk of my writing ability lies. I am not going to be the guy writing an in-depth post about global warming, supply-side economics, the vanishing rain forest, or who is most likely to be President in two years. Trust me; I donâ€™t understand any of that. I am not going to be running down to the patent office any time soon saying â€œHey, look what I invented; give me a number on this thing!â€
I canâ€™t do that. Iâ€™m just not wired that way. And for the most part I am not really interested in reading about those things either, unless perhaps there is a little humor thrown in to help make it go down a little bit easier.
My main point is this: humor is the great common denominator. Everyone likes to laugh and be entertained, or at least they like to chuckle. Even Dick Cheney chuckles for Godâ€™s sake. Sure, he does it in a way that makes you nearly wet your pants in terror, but stillâ€¦
You donâ€™t have to be a jolly goofball like me, but a light humorous touch really does mean so much. It can take the edge off, keep someoneâ€™s interest piqued, and in general lighten up what might otherwise be a pretty heavy post.
Now the thing about a sense of humor is that everyone thinks they have one, but they donâ€™t. Itâ€™s kind of like being good in bed, everyone thinks that they are, but not everyone is. Believe me; I know what Iâ€™m talking about, and I still have the rug burns to prove it.
However, I am of the opinion that most people who write can be funny, and humor is one of the most powerful tools you can possess in your creative arsenal. Well, that and blasting caps. Youâ€™re going to need those as well, but I canâ€™t tell you why.
If you are angry about something, sarcasm can be a humorous way to get your point across. If you feel compelled to complain or vent about something going wrong in your life, a little self-deprecation can go a long way toward making the post a little more palatable to readers. Also, a well placed witty bon mot can make you seem a lot more intelligent than you really are. Trust me on that one as well. I have spent my entire life devising ways to make myself appear smarter than I really am. It seemed less work than actually improving my intellect.
Believe me, if you throw around a couple of big words correctly and toss off a witty quip now and then, no one is going to focus on your inability to diagram a sentence or do long division. When people like what they see, they donâ€™t dig too deep.
Readers, by and large, want to be entertained. Yes, there is a place for serious discussion on religion, politics, world events, etc. but the majority of us just want to live our lives, share little pieces of ourselves along the way, engage in friendly conversation with like-minded individuals, and make our own little world a happier place to live.
Wowâ€¦if that isnâ€™t a sentence that calls for a group hug than I donâ€™t know what is.
And not only will a humorous touch keep your readers coming back, but a similar approach to comments left on other blogs will attract a whole new group of readers to your site. A clever comment is to a blogger as a monkey is to an organ grinderâ€¦or something.
Soon word of your razor sharp mind and your gift for witty repartee will spread through the blogosphere not unlike the way dysentery spread through my family the day we let Uncle Malcolm man the grill at the reunion barbecue. That was a special time.
Humor is the salt in your spice cabinet, the ketchup on the condiment shelf, the tidy whities in your underwear drawer, the ribbed rubber cylindrical device in the nightstand where you keepâ€¦well, you get the idea.
Find and embrace the funny. Make a friend of the funny. Cultivate the funny. Trust me when I say that a little investment in humor will pay huge dividends down the line. Your readership will grow steadily and it wonâ€™t be long before you will hardly be able to remember those lean times when you would go days between getting a comment.
A humorous touch will make you seem more real and more likable. You donâ€™t have to be a joke machine or a shock jock. You just have to be you. And youâ€™re funny, right? I could tell right off that you were a person of wit and good humor.
So go forth and lighten up! Be the kind of writer that you would want to read. When writing, always keep an ear out for how your words might sound to others. In no time at all other bloggers will be sending their friends over to check your site out.
And so it will begin.