How To Be The Bestest of All the Writingers

Are you an aspiring writer who has never picked up a book since you pretended to read the pictures in There’s a Hippopotamus on my Roof Eating Cake way back in first grade?

Back then, you decided you would write a classic epic about a hungry grey creature with a dessert problem, and once the Big Five publishers—yes, all of them—contacted you en masse for a trillion dollar book deal, you would savour the taste of all the cakes while lounging in your money pool, and promise to never look at another book again. But the pandemic hit you hard. Now you need to *gasp* write again. As an aspiring writer who runs to the grocery store wearing your trench coat and vaping, clasping your MacBook in one hand and vape pen in the other, you need more ideas. You need a story. You need to remove the ‘aspiring’ out of your authoryness once and for all. You need to be the bestest of all the writingers and authorydoos.

But how? you ask.

“I don’t know why you think I can read your thoughts,” I reply mockingly, my eyes vibrant and ringing with emotion as my hair cascades around my shoulders mysteriously.

Enough of all the dragging out. You just want the tips. The advice. Not the life story leading up the advice like this is a recipe blog and I’m about to tell you the harrowing story of why my unique recipe for Boston bun with hundreds and thousands mixed with the coconut icing was only invented because I decided to Wikipedia the history of coconuts and my seventeenth-cousin-thirty-times-removed told me I just had to invent this new, delicious, never-heard-of-before, totally unique, Australian dessert with a weird twist like this is a two-for-one deal at Bakers Delight or something and I decided that I would honour their memory and provide the recipe to you alongside seventeen pop-up ads in honour of them being my seventeenth cousin.

  1. Keep your story safe: Since we know your 300,000 word Brandon Sanderson-inspired fantasy epic is going to change the earth and plummet us towards Pluto (it’s that groundbreaking), make sure you have your novel backed up on the NSA servers, inside a toaster that’s running The Sims 4, on the surface of the moon, and don’t forget to memorise the entire story a la Fahrenheit 451 in your own head. That way, only you can leak your own story and steal your own ideas. Foolproof? Maybe not? If in doubt, don’t have any ideas. Ever. Like the old meme goes, nobody can steal your idea if you never have any.
  2. Actually write: Or don’t. We’re not your mother.
  3. Start simple: Start by responding to your mother when she texts you to come down for dinner, honey, it’s 6:30pm and your spaghetti bolognese is getting cold. Move up. Use your email provider’s auto-generator to send out form letters to everyone in your contacts list. Now you’re starting to move out of “aspiring” and into real writer territory. Once you’re comfortable enough, send a tweet to Brandon Sanderson himself and ask him ghostwrite your novel. When he inevitably doesn’t reply, rejoice: You’ve written something. Move to Microsoft Word. Ask your cat to nap on your keyboard.
  4. Reread old favourites: Find that copy of There’s a Hippopotamus on my Roof Eating Cake. Look beyond the pictures, and read the words like you’ve got the subtitles on an episode of Richard and Mortimer, you intellectual genius, you. Some famous author called, like, Stephen Monarch or something (idk, he apparently wrote like a bunch of famous books that were turned into movies that never follow their source material?) said that “Good writers read”, and I bet that means something.
  5. Have confidence! Change your Twitter bio to “Bestest of all the Writingers”. Everything on Twitter is true, so if you put it in your bio, you will be awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature, and you will be sent a Pulitzer, and your Twitter bio will start clapping. If you have enough confidence to believe in yourself, all else follows.
  6. Keep trying: You’ve probably stopped reading beyond the bolded “tips”, so I don’t actually have to say anything important. Nobody reads beyond the headline, and the dot point list, so lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Pretty cool to know, right?

Hopefully, this gives even the writeriest of writers the inspiration to follow their dreams and write. Just write. Do what brings you joy.

How would you rewrite this list? Would you just delete everything and post a picture of your cat sleeping on the piece of foam that’s been his slumber palace for months now instead of the cat bed he used only once and pretends never existed?

Happy early April Fool’s Day!

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