Easy, but that doesn’t always mean quick! Before you start drawing cartoons or thinking up captions for competitions, the first skill you want to develop is an easy method of stimulating your own imagination to come up with lots of different thoughts and ideas that you can build upon.
If you have a blank piece of paper or screen in front of you it can be daunting. The temptation is to start drawing or writing straight away. We hate to sound boringly like your high school English teacher, but this is where you really need to plan in advance – as it will pay off in the long run. You can spend all day drawing funny faces, but unless you have an idea first, it is very unlikely that doodling will turn into a finished cartoon or caption. Doodling can sometimes help the thought process, but you generally have to be a bit more systematic in your approach if you want to come up with a regular stream of ideas.
Personal brainstorming or organized daydreaming is really a process to stimulate your own thoughts in the same way that ideas and thoughts come from a conversation. Obviously you have nobody to bounce ideas off when you work on your own, so you have to bounce ideas off of yourself.
A method for doing this is to take a blank piece of paper and write down a few topics that you think might be interesting. Once you’ve done that, start writing down other words or doodle ideas that you associate with the first headings or stimulate a tangential thought. For example, you might write down the word ‘sheep’. When you start doodling sheep you could realize that all sheep do is stand in a field eating grass, or looking at it another way – GRASS IS ALL THEY EAT and now you could have the germ of a funny idea.
Of course, even finding headings to go at the top of the page to start your imagination off can be difficult. Sometimes you may feel as if there is nothing in your head at all. You need concepts and observations so that you have something to brainstorm about. There are many ways you can stimulate your mind-by reading books and newspapers, watching TV, remembering conversations and noticing things during the rest of your day. This background information will not just give you your initial ‘headers’ for topics, but absorbing as much information as you can will also help when it comes to thinking around your initial topics and brainstorming. Hope this is fun to think about, and we will try and give you other insights into the humor process soon