Have you looked for ways to include humor in your memoir? I hope so, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the process—especially the end result. (If you missed our last two posts, click on “Make ‘em cry, make ‘em laugh, make ‘em wait” and Humor in your memoir: “like a sneak attack
Humor can work wonders in human hearts and lives. Take, for example, what happened one day to Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers (The Writing Sisters).
Feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and tight schedules, they took a break and watched something on TV: Lucy and Ethel wearing bakery hats.
“As I watch them desperately wrapping candies unable to keep up with the speed of the conveyor belt, I totally relate to the feeling. I’m already behind today. Now I’m laughing and feeling connected, not alone in my frailty and human condition. It’s a relief to be reminded that I am human, made of dust. My own busy day pulls into perspective” (emphasis mine).
That’s the value of humor and its capacity to bond. In the same way Lucy and Ethel’s episode impacted The Writing Sisters, your humor can help readers bond with you and your storyand keep reading
Readers like to be entertained. If you entertain them, you engage them, and you’ve begun to win them over.
“…We like to read other people’s
They give us a laugh—
and often lift our mood
(‘at least I didn’t do that
They can even provide
valuable learning experiences.
You don’t want to overdo it
and come across as a bumbling idiot—
but occasionally admitting to
or talking about a failure
can make you more human
in your readers’ eyes.”
Stand back and search for what’s comical or quirky in your situation. Look for ways to use subtle humor. Or maybe exaggerate just a wee bit. Experiment. Give yourself time. It might just work.
But here’s a caution: Avoid offendingPoke fun at yourself, not others. If we want readers to respect us, we must respect others.
The Writing Sisters caught my attention with this: “Worldly humor comes from a platform of superiority over others, Godly humor from a platform of humility.
The Sisters shared Liz Curtis Higgs’ list comparing worldly humor with God-honoring humor:
Glorifies sinPuts down othersRidicules righteousnessHurts the spirit
Avoids offenseBuilds up othersHonors the LordHeals the Spirit”
a universal language,
a common connector
a shared experience.
in your memoir.
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