When you work in a creative field, the one thing you think you always want is creative freedom. It's easy to complain about being constrained by oversight and not being able to let your creativity soar. 

What people don't realize is that when you get that room to breathe and express yourself creatively, you come to realize a lot about yourself — namely, that you're not as creative as you think.

So here I am, a humor writer for Diply, with the incredibly vague assignment of writing a funny article. This is the story of how I (sort of) figured out how to do it.

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I have literally one job to do right now, and I have no idea how to do it.

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If you give me a few funny pictures, you can bet your hiney* that I can put them together into a fun, digestible article, but this is new territory for me. 

*Please note that I did just spend a few solid minutes trying to figure out how to spell "hiney"** properly.

**Editor's Note: And he still spelled it wrong.

"Just write something funny" is harder than it sounds.

"Just write something funny" is harder than it sounds.
Getty Images |  Caiaimage/Tom Merton

I like to think I'm a pretty funny guy, but any comedic writer will tell you that it sucks to be told to be funny on command. 

"Oh, you're a comedian, huh? Tell me a joke" is just about the worst-case scenario when comedians meet new people.

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You can end up doing some pretty ridiculous things when you're trying to avoid work.

You can end up doing some pretty ridiculous things when you're trying to avoid work.
Diply |  Dylan Clark-Moore - ofilmedopele - Twitter |  @GrittyNHL

Some might call it "procrastination," and that would be right. I just honestly forgot the word.

Here's an example of procrastination from...basically right now. We've got a pretty robust group chat here at Diply, swapping jokes and whatnot. Recently, that means sharing a mutual love for the Philadelphia Flyers' new mascot, Gritty.  

One of our Senior Writers pointed out that Gritty's got "true grit," which obviously meant that I needed to spend the next 5–10 minutes in MS Paint making the monstrosity of a poster you see above.

Keep in mind that I should be working right now, but apparently, this is what I'm doing instead. Was it worth it to be able to include this poster in this article? The jury's still out on that one.

The internet can be a great source of inspiration, so maybe that's where I should look.

The internet can be a great source of inspiration, so maybe that's where I should look.
Instagram |  @dylanclarkmoore

Unfortunately, today, Twitter is a wasteland of serious debates. It's good that people are engaged, but dangit, I'm supposed to be being funny, not coming up with thoughtful content.

Reddit's weird today, too. It's just full of moth memes, and I don't have enough faith in myself to try to compile "14+ Moth Memes That Will Draw You In Like A Lamp." 

So obviously, I need to look elsewhere.

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You can try to find inspiration in your everyday life.

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I'm going to start by looking around my work area. Let's see, I've got some notebooks, a mug, some emergency deodorant. Is that relatable? Emergency deodorant? No, Dylan. That's a bad idea

I've also got this sweet Gushers fidget spinner, but I already wrote about Gushers once and I don't think I can go to that same well twice. Then again, they did send me some swag and a whole lot of fruit snacks...so maybe they'll see this article and "inspire" me with some more of those sweet, sweet, bihexagonal pyramids.

Some inspiration is best left ignored.

Some inspiration is best left ignored.
Instagram |  @dylanclarkmoore

There's also, for some ungodly reason, a bottle of brandy from the Czech Republic on my desk. I didn't know the Czech made brandy, let alone why this is part of my workstation. 

Maybe I could turn this into something? Then again, I think that me writing a "I Got Absolutely Annihilated At Work, And Here's What Happened" kind of story might lead to more problems than it's worth. I generally believe it's best if your HR department has no idea who you are.

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Sometimes a break is really all that you need.

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It's just about lunch time anyway, so let's see if a break will give the creative juices a chance to get flowing again.



(About 45 minutes later)



Well, that didn't work.

Funny is wherever you find it, so maybe I just need to go out and actually find some.

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I'm going to go for a walk and see what comes up. I've seen some strange things while walking around this city, so maybe something will light the spark that leads to a few hundred words that'll make you chuckle. Remember, folks, I'm doing this for you.

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Creativity can happen when you surround yourself with creativity.

Creativity can happen when you surround yourself with creativity.
Getty Images |  Hero Images

I headed out of the office and let my feet go wherever they took me. I ended up at a cool local bookstore and I tried to swim in its musty sea of creative output, hoping that something could come out of me too. 

I sort of got what I wanted because I ended up dropping a pretty rancid fart in the poetry section. Not what I was looking for, but could I maybe turn that into "13+ Incredibly Awkward Places To Fart" article. Maybe? 

Pretty much everything is imitation anyway, so don't be scared to play in someone else's sandbox.

Pretty much everything is imitation anyway, so don't be scared to play in someone else's sandbox.
Instagram |  @dylanclarkmoore

I saw this one parody book and thought, Hey, maybe I should try out some satire. Another writer and I had joked about writing a diss track about Gritty in the style of Eminem, so maybe it was time to bring that article to life?

Yeah, we really, really like Gritty around here.

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It's honestly a weird feeling to navigate the world trying to turn it into "content."

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When you're just walking around looking for things to write about, you feel like you're a scientist or something, picking apart the world. You end up feeling kind of smug, too, which is great, because I'm pretty much always smug.

You can't force funny.

You can't force funny.
Instagram |  @dylanclarkmoore

I kept trying to see jokes wherever I went. For example, I saw this door with "WET PAINT" written on it, and I could feel my brain trying to morph it into humor. 

Like, "Well, maybe if you hadn't written 'WET PAINT' on it, the door wouldn't have wet paint on it, you idiot." Sounds like pretty dumb commentary, right? Exactly. That's where I'm at.

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Imposter syndrome is very, very, very, very real.

Imposter syndrome is very, very, very, very real.
Instagram |  @dylanclarkmoore

I don't think anybody who writes for a living ever really feels like they should actually be allowed to. Or, if they do, they're jerks and they should share some of their confidence. 

Also, you may not realize it, but this picture is hilarious because that's not actually me. That's Kevin. He's great. 

I often look at this job and I wonder how in the world it's actually a job. 

I often look at this job and I wonder how in the world it's actually a job.
Diply |  Dylan Clark-Moore

And then I wonder who in the hell thought it was a good idea to hire me to do it. 

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At some point, you have to recognize when it's time to stop looking for inspiration.

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For me, this came when I realized that I wasn't actually looking for ideas anymore. I was just walking around downtown doing errands on company time.

And then you just have to shut up and do the thing.

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Even if that means you end up devoting most of your working day to writing about not being able to write anything worthwhile.

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It's not always going to work out, and dang it, that's okay.

It's not always going to work out, and dang it, that's okay.
Instagram |  @dylanclarkmoore

At least, I hope it is. If you see me out on the street drinking from a bottle of Czech brandy, you'll know exactly how this all went.

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For some more (actually helpful) personal experience stories, check out some tried and true cleaning hacks and travel tips from our much more legitimate writer, Victoria.