We’ve got @simoncholland in the Twitter seat today. Simon is so funny! He’s got a newer account, so he’s vastly under followed. So if you’re not following him, go do it. You will not be disappointed. Hilarious TL!
Facts about @simoncholland
Name: Simon Holland
Living in: Just north of Atlanta in the land of stick figure families aka the suburbs.
Graduated high school: I’m 36 (wanted to save folks from doing math in their head). I graduated high school in 1996 and I have the Spin Doctor’s CD to prove it.
Joined Twitter: I joined Twitter in 2012 to promote a blog I was writing. I deleted that account in 2013 and took a break from Twitter for 18 months. I started this account in September of this year and have been tweeting for about 2 months.
Number of followers: Around 1900 which is probably a record for smallest account ever interviewed here but to be fair, approx. 35% of those followers are accounts my mom made up so she could see her baby boy get gold stars.
My wife brought home low sodium bacon and now I understand what it means when someone says they love you but they aren't IN LOVE with you.
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) October 28, 2014
On to the Interview!
Tell us about your family.
I am married to a smoking hot southern belle and we have two daughters, ages eight and four.
We also have a weimaraner named Lucy. If I was a superhero I would be Captain Lonely Y Chromosome.
What do you do when you’re not on Twitter?
Mostly, just charge my phone.
I’ve worked in the petroleum industry for 13 years and I stay pretty busy with career responsibilities and business travel, in my free time I mostly dad, help coach girls softball, try to continue tricking my wife into staying with me (she’s way out of my league), and throw Lucy’s Frisbee in the backyard. I also like to play golf and camp when I can make time as well as practice writing run-on sentences.
Why do you tweet? What do you get out of it?
I had never written anything that wasn’t either inside of a greeting card or for a grade until I started writing a blog. I really enjoy making people laugh and loved writing blog posts but they can also take a lot of time to put together. After finding the funny side of Twitter I discovered that I could use this as a quick creative outlet that provided quick feedback on my thoughts. Like anyone who enjoys writing, I put words down because I want someone to read them. I also want those words to have some sort of impact on the reader (usually an eye roll, but that is still a response). Twitter is a super easy platform to manage original content with and still get my words out there even when I don’t have time to write something longer.
I bet in heaven you can eat tacos and ride water slides at the same time and the tacos don't even get soggy.
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) September 13, 2014
When did you join Twitter?
I joined Twitter in 2012 to promote my blog. I deleted that account in 2013 and took a break from Twitter for 18 months. I started this account (@simoncholland) in September of this year and have been tweeting for about two months.
So, you deleted your account, or what is commonly known in the Twitter world as, committed Twittercide. Why’d you do that?
I had a twitter account before called @sweetandweak (named after the blog I have, but rarely update). Like many others I started twitter to promote the blog but over time I kind of fell into the black hole of twitter if you will. It became too much of a distraction in my everyday life and when my daughters started to ask me why I was always on my phone, I turned it off. I deleted the account because I felt like it had become more about curating other tweets than being an outlet for my own content and also because I just needed to put it down completely for a while.
So I took almost two years off from twitter and started writing jokes on the notes section of my phone and occasionally on facebook. About two months ago the illustrator for a syndicated comic called Brevity contacted me and asked for permission to use a joke that I wrote that he found on Reddit. He said that they could credit the joke to me with my name or twitter name. Since I had also started doing a bit of standup comedy I thought it was the right time to start doing twitter again. I still love it like I always did but I am taking a bit of a different approach this time and not letting my voice get lost. I also wanted to have an account that I used my real name for just in case I ever did anything that started to gain traction.
I don't know, everything was going great & had been perfect for as long as I can remember, then in 2012… -Gluten talking to his therapist
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) October 27, 2014
Okay, so you’ve dabbled in standup. Tell us about that.
I have always been a huge fan of standup comedy and a little over a year ago a local radio station teamed with The Improv comedy club in Atlanta for an open mic competition. It was mostly local or regional comedians that were new or just trying to break in, but there were also some first timers. I submitted some stuff I had written on my blog and was invited to do a five-minute set. It went pretty good and I made it to the final round of the competition for my round. I really like doing it but I can’t dedicate the time to make it any more than a hobby. Once upon a time I did some acting and singing in school so it has been nice to be on a stage again. I’ve only done it a total of five times but I hope to find more opportunities. Twitter really helps with the joke writing process.
Here’s a video of some of Simon’s standup.
I know they’re completely different, but what do you like better about Twitter than standup? And vice versa?
I don’t ever get nervous about writing a tweet and if no one likes something I write, I don’t have to stand in front of everyone and work it out on the spot. That being said, hearing someone laugh beats getting a retweet every single time.
You mentioned your blog, sweetandweak.com. Looks like you have a pretty healthy following. Tell us about your blog. What’s the title referring to?
My wife encouraged me to start writing the blog because I used to always lie next to her and tell her stuff that I thought would be a good idea, or something that someone should write about or what would be funny. The title of the blog is Sweet and Weak and in its original form I would write about something I thought was pretty awesome and underappreciated and then also about something that got on my nerves. It was well received in the WordPress space of the blogosphere and I still enjoy writing longer stuff but I do not actively add content.
The part of fatherhood I don't like is where you are awake at 6:30 AM on a Sunday mixing chocolate milk for a tiny dictator.
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) October 19, 2014
What goes through your mind when a tweet bombs?
I’m not sure. Right now my account is small enough that it is possible that it wasn’t noticed by many people but I have definitely written my fair share of failure. If it sits there for a while and I re-read it and think it is dumb I may delete it or I just may let it sit there. I don’t do drafts or save tweets to send out later, I like that twitter can be a brain dump of sorts, good with the bad.
Do you ever go through comedy dry spells where you just can’t come up with anything funny to say?
I think funny comes from observation. If I decide I want to think of something funny I never will. If I just relax and pay attention I usually notice things in everyday life that make me laugh. A lot of times being funny isn’t about originating a humorous thought or idea, for me it is mostly being one of the only ones that points out the funny that was there all along.
That's not what I meant. -Husbands
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) September 27, 2014
Are there specific times or situations where you find it’s easiest for you to come up with a funny tweet?
Parenting, marriage, and family life in general are all hilarious even when you have to pull back the sobs and the whining to find the humor.
What advice do you have for someone who’s trying to get better at joke writing on Twitter?
Invest in a 10-foot phone charger and don’t be afraid to just write it and send it. Also, pay attention to some of the format jokes floating around twitter, they can be a good exercise to get the creative juices flowing even if the finished product isn’t 100% original.
Tell us something about yourself people on Twitter may not know.
During my Freshman year of college I was on a musical theater scholarship.
Really? What were you planning to do, going into musical theater?
I wasn’t really sure but it paid for me to go to college so I took it. For a while I thought about packing up and moving to NY or LA and making a run at it but it never panned out.
Do people still use the word tight to mean cool because that would make me feel better about my pants.
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) November 3, 2014
Name some tweeters whose tweets make you laugh out loud.
@LurkAtHomeMom She wrote a tweet about a Granola bar that makes me laugh every time I see it.
@Cheeseboy22 is consistently funny, his take on parenthood and playing tricks on his kids are great.
@PaperWash Some of his crazy dialog tweets are the best out there.
@sammyrhodes writes some of the best self-deprecation jokes ever, he always makes me laugh.
@man_spach has a way of putting a bizarre exaggerated spin on everyday stuff that is hilarious.
@kalvinmacleod has the best tweet about smoke bombs ever, his marriage tweets are great.
Thanks, Simon! Loved doing this interview!
You can also find some of Simon’s hilarious tweets in this super-duper hysterical book!
Next up on Beyond the Bio: @buriedwithkids
In case you missed it, last week on Beyond the Bio: @LindaInDisguise.