Sunday, November 08, 2015

Top Ten Adviceses for Aspirating Writerers

Before I begin with the advices, I'm required to pull rank somehow. Lay out my bona fidos. In order to tempt you to take writing advice from me, I have to lure you into thinking that I've managed to produce some form of folding money by writing. That's the Holy Grail, and I have to convince you I've had a swig from it before you'll listen to me. Here goes: I'm such a good writer that I have intermittently been able to cover the monthly fee for keeping a bank account open to accept the money I've earned by writing. I know, huh? How awesome is that?

I don't mean to brag, but I have adjectives I haven't even used yet. I can swear more convincingly than Edna St. Vincent Millay and write dialog better than any you'll find in the Encyclopedia Britannica. I can make grown men weep and women violent. I have the touch, and I'm here to give you the benefit of my touching.

I started out fairly wretched, so it was easier for me to become an inkstained wretch than most people. I wrote a book that had pages with printing on both sides and two covers that were too far apart. I sold several copies of that book to drunk persons who found themselves on Amazon at 4 AM (it's my target demographic). That doesn't mean you'll necessarily have that kind of luck. Those people might have sobered up by now. I advise you to start off slowly and confine yourself to writing for the Internets. But whatever you decide, make sure you confine yourself, or someone else will.

 Here's my Top Ten Adviceses for Aspirating Writerers:
  1. Make sure all the guidance you seek out on any topic is from a deciled list. Never read anything with even a hint of paragraphs about it. Numbered pages are right out. Don't waste your time with any wild-eyed iconoclasts while you're poking around the Intertunnel looking for your lists. Remember that nothing important ever consists of nine or eleven items. Ten items is your guarantee of quality. 
  2. Use words like "deciled" in your writing. It wasn't a word until I made it a word in the previous entry on this list. Sprinkle in words like that, and pretty soon your blog or website or honeypot or whatever will be search engine optimized to be Numero Uno, baby, whenever anyone uses Google to look for words that don't exist. Just watch the money roll in from that.
  3. Only express strong opinions about who shot first or the dress some talentless skank was wearing at the Oscars. All other opinions will be met with an endless cavalcade of death threats on Twitter and bad reviews on Yelp! -- whether or not you own a business. Yelpers will found a company under your name, rent a strip mall storefront, and then fill it with employees just so they can give you bad reviews if you express certain opinions that are beyond the pale. Never mention that Windows 10 works just fine, for instance. 
  4. Make sure you tell everyone how passionate you are about writing. Let's say you're applying for a job offered by a Bangladeshi spammer on People per Hour to fill out an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the comments he's leaving on abandoned blogs for generic Nair for back hair. It's really important for you to assure him how passionate you are about that type of work. The job pays almost as well as delivering gluten-free pizza using Uber cab service, so you're going to have to show some serious passion if you want to beat out Mikayla, Michaela, Makaila, Makhailla, and Premjit for the job.
  5. You need a headshot photo. Make sure it's taken of you, by you, at arm's length. Employers have learned to trust only people who appear to be furtively looking up at the surveillance camera in a convenience store while pursing their lips into a kind of smirk. It gives off a vibe that screams: passion.
  6. Sometimes passion alone isn't enough to get that Kenyan to award you that erotic fiction e-book gig. That's when you need to haul out the big guns, and assure them that you have a real "flare" for writing to amplify all that passion.
  7. You're going to have to know all about how sexy a werewolf is. You can't limit your ability to textually sexify werewolves solely to the terrestrial kind, either. Bone up on sexy interstellar  werewolves along with the domestic breeds. It never hurts to have a minor in Sexy Vampirism to go with your B.A. in Libidinous Lycanthropy. 
  8. Don't make the mistake of offering content that's too challenging for the average college-educated person to understand. I mean, does that GIF really need to be animated? Can't it just be a GIF? 
  9. Use mnemonic devices to organize your daily efforts. For instance, I keep a little framed sign on my desk that says: K.I.S.S.. It's an acronym that reminds me that if I don't write something and sell it soon, I might be Killed Indiscriminately by the ShutzStaffel. I think that's what it stands for. I got it from the tail end of a deciled list and can only remember the first three items. Number 4 was an animated GIF, and I got confounded. 
  10. Under no circumstances get a real job and leave writing to people who are good at it. Get a real job and then use the office computer to write badly and show those starving writers they're starving for a reason. 
Well, there you have it. You're now ready to enter the lucrative world of Intertunnel writing. If you're wondering if my advice is any better than the other 40,995,651 websites offering writing advice, I urge you to search on Google for "Top Ten Adviceses for Aspirating Writerers." I assure you I'll be the very first entry on the search results. That's how the quality of everything on the Intertunnel is determined.


Sam L. said...

You have certainly made me weep from uncontrollable (OK, I got over it) laughter. Not violent, being not-a-woman. I am going to post this article (by link, not the whole thing (can't afford the pixels) to a another writer's blog who also gives occasional advice to writers, but not nearly the quality of this advice. Perhaps you will get a Sippilanche.

Matt said...

Now, Gerard posted an excerpt from this without acknowledging the author and I knew it was either you or Mark Twain by the end of the second sentence. Clemens is no longer returning my calls because I once told him being distinguished for that sort of writing is ironic. I would now like to change the subject to central heating before you get the idea to cancel my subscription,

Hale Adams said...

Well, you probably won't get an Instalanche, but I think you usually get a Van-der-Leun-lanche.

If Gerard at American Digest puts up a link to Sippican Cottage, I always come here -- it is always good for a chuckle, or to get one thinking.

Thanks for being here......

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

Leon said...

yep your numbre once on that giggle cerch. job well done. i chuckled moderatly

Sam L. said...

Leon, chucklin' liberally just don't sit well with some of us in these here parts.

chasmatic said...

My uncle Letsgo Lozko had English as his second language. He would recite out loud to his chickens whatever he had written. They are tough critics. he said whenever they were clucking it meant they liked what he had written. In Hungarian or in English. The hens were bilingual.
I talk faster than I think so maybe this will help me. I want to get a job with Hallmark or the one that sells Kincades, as a greetings writer. Here's a sample:

"When I feel happy and full of good cheer,
it's because of you and a six-pack of beer".

Andy Havens said...

I had a real job for almost all of the first seven years after I was discharged from the Army. I used that office computer to write like that's why they hired me (it wasn't). I haven't written a lick in the two years since I quit. But at least the kids tell me I smell worse now.

I haven't posted here in ages. I'm glad you're still doing this.

No matter how big my kids get, they won't stop using your steppers. I keep raising the countertops.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Andy- I can testify without fear of contradiction that you've got cute kids.