Well, to be precise…it’s 100 jokes. Or, it will be.
Let me back up a little bit. For the past few years, artist Elle Luna has facilitated an initiative called the 100 Days Project. She sums it up (artfully, as she would) here:
Last year, I made an attempt to participate in the project, and am dismayed but honest in my report that I failed after four days. Four days. If I’m open with myself about why that is, I failed because the goal was an abstract one, connected to nothing of significance to me. I will not be making that mistake again this year. Because the goal is tied to a few things that really matter: laughter, dedication, and bigger dreams of making my comedy visible.
So, for the duration of the 100 days…I’m going to be writing jokes. One joke (or something funny, if the joke is more elaborate) per day.
Some days might be an observational quip on Twitter. Others might fuse together to become longer bits for friends to perform. Who knows? Maybe I’ll buy popsicle sticks to simulate my own Popsicle jokes! But exercising that muscle is important to me, and I’ve not been doing it enough for my liking lately.
Just over a year ago, I finished three levels of sketch comedy writing. I don’t mind reporting: it’s some of the most challenging writing I’ve ever done. I love laughing, and respect the hell out of anyone who can elicit that reaction in people; after spending about five months doing it on a weekly basis, I can also jump to the defense of any comedian you ever dump on and say “STEP OFF, THIS IS A HARD THING TO DO.”
I always said, even as I progressed through the levels with my class, that I was only ever funny “largely incidentally”; my goal was to improve on that characterization, if for no reason other than to succeed in a new style of writing. In a day job that required specific types of writing, and most other writing tied to professional goals, it was the only type of writing that remained just for me, and I held that tightly. As more and more of my writing is deemed “professional,” I find myself missing that outlet of “just for me” writing.
But by flexing this muscle more thoughtfully each day, I want to come to understand what makes me laugh, what makes the people around me laugh, and what I want to do with that ability once I’ve practiced it.
There are a few reach goals tied up in that: pitches (but not necessarily acceptances to!) Reductress or McSweeney’s, and maybe even starting to assemble packets or spec scripts for larger projects. No intentions of quitting my day job, but I’ve created a life for myself that allows for this sort of creativity. I intend to exercise that flexibility to its full extent.
So, what do you need to do? Not much. Starting on the 19th I plan to share what I write online with the hashtag #ammahaha via Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (who knows what’ll be where, when? Not me…), so follow along and let me know what hits your funny bone or misses the mark. Looking forward to this intentional injection of laughs over the next few months, and I hope I can make a few of you smile in the process