This is an offshoot of the original Liam & Janet blog. That blog has become overrun by Liam's inability to keep his mouth shut when something annoys him. The serious rants there seemed incongruous with the humor columns. The plan for the humor columns continues to be to post a new one every Friday, plus occasional extras when the mood strikes.

Monday, December 06, 2010

15 Essays in 30 Days

I've often had people ask "How do you come up with your humor essays?"

This is not, strictly speaking, true in the sense that I've never had anyone ask that. But one of the important parts of my process is never letting a little thing like reality get in the way of a good premise, and so, let us begin again.

(Ahem). I've often had people ask "How do you come up with your humor essays?"

The truth is, the process is very much like digestion, in that I begin with a hearty, nutritious germ of an idea, rife with vitamin potential and whole-grain humory goodness. I take that idea and chew it up, swallow it, and in the end process it into a batch of cheap poop jokes. I strive never to have anyone describe one of my essays as "moving", because of the image this conjures up.

Anyway, it appears as though I've been consuming too many cheesy jokes, because my "humor intestines" have become seriously backed up, leading to the distinct paucity of, er, output on this blog in the past several months.

And to resolve this particular problem, I've hit upon what can only be described as "a particularly awful idea". Specifically, I have a number of friends who are songwriters, and several of them in the last year or two have gone through an experiment with various names, but which always boils down to "30 songs in 30 days", and so I've decided "Hey! I should try that with essays!", in much the same way that the owner of a quarry might watch someone do a swan dive and say to himself "Hey, I don't have a pool, but..."

I'm afraid that this is destined for spectacular failure, not the least because that "30 songs in 30 days" far more commonly turns out to be "about 3 songs and 27 things I will later hope never to be reminded about again in 30 days". There is a very good chance that many or most of these essays will not be worth the time it takes to read them. But hopefully I'll get two or three really good ones, and perhaps some of the less worthy will contain something I can later rework into something resembling comedic genius (as in "Luanne, c'mere, the damn dog left some 'comedic genius' on the carpet again!').

So here are the rules.

  1. I'm not sure I can do 30 in 30, so I'm going to do 15 essays in 30 days. For the next 30 days, I will attempt to emit something resembling a humor essay every other day.
  2. In order to be a valid essay, each must be at least half a page long (roughly 25% of the normal length of my essays). They may be longer, of course, but I may not resort to posting a one-liner and claim that's my "essay" of the day.
  3. I will decide whether this one counts as the first one or not based on just how exhausted I am with the idea when I reach 14 essays.
  4. I will post my progress, but possibly not the essays themselves, to the humor blog in an index post I'll keep up to date with dates and titles.
  5. The essays which are good enough to which to subject you, my loyal fans, I will post on a "one per week" basis as I used to post, because it seems like "one every two days" would be too much of a thing.
  6. I won't say "too much of a good thing", because that's just too much hyperbole for one essay.

So that's it. That's my plan. I don't know how it'll turn out, I may decide I'm not coming up with anything worth posting and give up the attempt in a few days. But I promise you this: I will write at least one for each person who has asked how I come up with my humor essays. They deserve nothing less.

Copyright © Dec 6, 2010 by Liam Johnson.


Blogger Ross said...

I wish you good luck, my friend.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010 1:45:00 AM

Anonymous Linda said...

So how do you come up with your humor essays?

There you go, at least one required humor essay! See how easy it is to make us do things just for the chance to get you to write humor essays? If you'd offered to write an essay if we dance like a chicken with bags on our heads, I might have done that too! ..... I look forward to more of your essays.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010 7:04:00 AM

Blogger Liam said...

Thanks, Ross!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010 10:54:00 PM

Blogger Liam said...

That makes two different people who have done that to me, Linda. ;-)


Tuesday, December 07, 2010 10:55:00 PM


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