Podcast: Writing Humor & Developing a Voice with Melanie Dale
On this Exhale podcast, we are chatting about being funny. Or really, writing funny. We all love a good heartfelt, mushy essay about motherhood and the sacred calling that we believe it to be. But every now and again, we all need something that rips us to pieces with laughter instead of tears. And we convinced the resident funny person of Coffee + Crumbs to join us: Melanie Dale!
Melanie is the author of four books, It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose, Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends, Infreakinfertility: How to Survive When Getting Pregnant Gets Hard, and Calm the H*ck Down, a parenting book with Simon & Schuster coming out next spring. Her essays are included in The Magic of Motherhood and she’s a monthly contributor for Coffee+Crumbs. In addition to writing, Melanie speaks at events and conferences around the country and hosts a podcast called Lighten Up with Melanie Dale. She lives in the Atlanta area with her husband, Alex, and three kids from three different continents. You can internet stalk her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Resources we talked about:
Melanie’s essay called “Dating for Moms” made us snort-laugh.
Melanie cites Buffy The Vampire Slayer as one of her all-time favorite ways to learn how to write funny. She also credits funny memoirs like Bossypants by Tina Fey, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, and Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham as great funny writing inspiration. Melanie recounts finding Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess, and reading in one sitting at an airport.
Our prompt for you:
Start paying attention to what makes you laugh. Open up a new note on your phone and for the next week, every time something around you makes you laugh, write it down. Dialogue your kids say, a funny line in a show (cite the source, of course—we aren’t ripping off other people’s lines!), an observation your partner has that makes you snort, whatever. Keep a collection on your phone, and occasionally read them out loud. Start training yourself to figure out what makes you laugh.
Our submission idea for you:
Our quote we shared:
“The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.” - Madeline L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time