A Day Inside My Brain: My Joke Writing Process

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

9 a.m.: Wake up and check Twitter to see if Jaboukie Young-White has followed me back yet or if Aparna Nacherla liked my new Tweet about having diarrhea in a CVS bathroom. Exhale very, very slowly and scream into my pillow. Realize I’ve drooled on that same pillow at some point in the night. Fall back asleep for another hour. 

10 a.m.: How is it already 10 a.m.?! Get out of bed too fast and experience a head rush. Allot myself 3 minutes to stare blankly into the bathroom mirror, contemplating my liberal arts degree, and replaying every social interaction I’ve had in the past month. Am I even funny? Finish artistic emotional crisis and brush teeth. 

10:15 a.m.: Sit down at my laptop and say, “Okay Elsa, it’s time to be funny!” Wait. 

10:43 a.m.: Realize that it’s unrealistic to be funny on command or expect a first draft to make sense, be mad at myself anyways. Google “what is Michelle Wolf’s writing process?” and spend the next hour scrolling through old Vulture articles about how comedians got famous. Looks like I’ve done everything wrong so far!

11:45 a.m.: It’s lunch time! Thank God—being this creatively productive makes you super hungry. Attempt to make a grilled cheese, burn it in the toaster, set off the smoke alarm, and eat a bowl of Fruit Loops. While shoveling cereal meant for a child into your mouth with a soup spoon, tweet about how the recipes on Queer Eye are stupid. 

12:30 p.m.: Okay, it’s time to focus. Write three joke fragments in your email drafts folder and take a celebratory nap. You’re going to get discovered soon so it’s really important to rest up!

2 p.m.: Realize that you have work tomorrow and have essentially wasted the entire morning. Panic. Write a half-baked idea into your notes app. Pro-tip: make sure not to title said idea so that, later, it’s as hard to find as possible!

3 p.m.: Go for a walk to try and get inspiration. Watch a of couple squirrels mating in Washington Square Park and send a blurry Snapchat video of it to your 7 closest friends. This is comedy gold. 

4:30 p.m.: Get a really, really good idea and write furiously for the next 30 minutes. Forget to save your Word Doc and lose said idea. Again, panic. 

6 p.m.: Get a burrito from the same place that gave you diarrhea last time. Remember your really funny tweet about having diarrhea in a CVS bathroom and check to see if anyone funny liked it yet. Nope, just your orthodontist. Wait, why does he even follow you? Also, do you need to still be wearing your retainer? You totally haven’t been. 

7:30 p.m.: On your walk back to your apartment, inspiration strikes. Dictate a voice memo to Siri which definitely won’t piss off everyone else on the street. 

8 p.m.: Sit down at your laptop and begin to write. The ideas are flowing, you’re engaged, you’re on fire. Sigh, realizing that this is what Michael Angelo, Pablo Picasso, George Carlin, and Meryl Streep must feel like. You’re an artist! Finish writing your ground-breaking joke on masturbation and slam your laptop closed in triumph. 

10:30 p.m.: Listen to the Two Dope Queens podcast while finishing the burrito from earlier and drafting tweets about your ex-boyfriend’s parents. 

1 a.m.: Put a pad of sticky notes next to your alarm clock in case you get any ideas while you sleep and, as you scroll through your own Facebook feed from 2 years ago, drift to sleep. 

2:30 a.m.: Wake up to a ping notification on your phone. Did Aparna FINALLY like your diarrhea tweet? Nope, it was just your mom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s