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So, you want to be a great writer then? Well I’ll tell you, it’s not an easy path to follow. You’re going to have to make great sacrifices and endure untold hardships. And then you’ll have to write about said hardships and sacrifices, embellishing only enough to make yourself look like a tragic hero. Just follow these easy steps, and high school students will be analyzing your works in ten to fifteen years.
edit Step 1: Have a Lousy Childhood
The first step to becoming an accomplished writer is to have the worst childhood imaginable; a childhood so dark and terrible that it will provide you with insecurities and psychological complexes to fuel the writing process later on in life. It’s best if you’re born to a poor family in a dirty inner city. If that’s not available, a poor dirt-farming rural family will suffice.
If you have the misfortune of being born into a family that is socially secure, try and finds ways to force your family into financial ruin. Burn down your house, push the family car off a bridge, tell your parents’ employers that they have a nasty drug habit, or you could even give out their credit card information on the internet (if you’re a horrible bastard). You could even contrive to get one of them killed, that would provide you with all kind of regret and turmoil to fuel the novels you’ll write in order to come to grips with your past actions. Ideally, you should be poor enough that you cannot afford healthcare.
If you really did it right, one of your siblings should get sold into prostitution in order to feed the family. Don’t let it be you though, you’ll need the guilt of watching your family degrade itself for inspiration.
Now you’ll need your father to be abusive and an alcoholic. If your father hasn’t already turned to alcohol from your newfound financial ruin, try and push him in the right direction. Maybe put a little Jack Daniels in his breakfast cereal. Bring him a beer when he gets home from his now 16-hour shift at the coal-mine. If that doesn’t work, just stick him with an IV full of 151 when he goes to sleep.
If you killed your father in the previous step, find a step-father or boyfriend for your mother to fill in for him. Believe me, an abusive and/or drunken father-figure will go a long way to garner sympathy from your readers years from now when you finally start writing that book. It’s also a good excuse for your own future alcoholism/abusiveness later on down the line, but we’ll come to that later.
So now you should have a dirt-poor family that is tearing itself apart. And now it’s time for you to go to school! At school, do your best to be an outcast. Don’t play any sports, it might cause you to have friends and be popular. Instead, try and remain on the fringes on school society. Make one or two friends who are also outcasts, as this will help you fuel your dislike for happy people, and will aid in your disillusionment with society in general. As for relationships, if you must have a significant other then make sure you end your relationship in the most painful and scarring way possible. Best of all is if you pick a member of the opposite sex and become completely obsessed with them. But whatever you do, do not communicate with them under any circumstances. If you ever get close to building up your courage, remember that you’re not cool/popular enough. Pining away silently with no hope for fulfillment of your desire is a skill you’ll need to acquire. Above all, try and remain unhappy at all times. Use this time to experiment with light drugs and alcohol. Since you’re still poor, try spray paint in a paper bag. It works surprisingly well.
So now you should be a very unhappy and emotionally scarred young adult. If you have the intelligence to get into college, make sure it comes at great financial hardship for both you and your family. Burden yourself with the need to gain approval from your peers and family, since they’ve pretty much treated you like crap so far. If/When you get to college, make sure you associate only with like-minded individuals. This will serve to reinforce your cynical viewpoint on life. Also, be sure to get a major that will be no help in getting you a job anywhere. Like an English major.
edit Step 2: Travel Extensively
By now you should be sick of your home country and everyone in it. Especially your parents. So now it’s time to have a stint at being a world traveler! But you’re probably still poor, so you should travel to the shitholes of the world.
Rack up whatever debt you need to get there, and then get a degrading job in your new destination to pay it off. This should help you to come in contact with the urban poor and peasant classes of other countries and cultures. Observe their plight; see how much worse it is in their country than in your home country. But at the same time, you should look at their lives with such a romantic viewpoint that you should place them as the epitome of what it means to be human. Make them the example that your readers will be guilted into admiring when you finally write that book. While traveling, you should also get a glimpse of the rampant corruption and injustice that you see in the cesspools you’re traveling to. This should help you develop a feeling of righteous indignation at the suffering of people that you are not experiencing.
While traveling, take the opportunity to develop a drug habit. Experiment with everything, as the rat hole you’re living in will probably have lax drug enforcement. Shove those chemicals into every orifice and vein that you possibly can. Also drink as much as you can to try and forget your own psychological demons (you should have plenty by now). After wasting all of your ill-begotten funds on drugs and getting as strung out as possible, dial it back to normal standards. Except for the drinking, continue to fuel your alcoholism. But for the heavier stuff, bring it back to manageable level. For instance, go on a coke-binge only every Tuesday, instead of every Tuesday and Thursday. Now that only ¾ of your funds are being used to fuel your active drug habit, you can start saving up enough money to return home and share the story of your travels with everyone. In the meantime (probably lasting years) live in a dark one-room flat in the red light district of wherever you’re currently living. Wallow in the squalor. Do it.
edit Step 3: Write Something
Now you should return home, or a major metropolitan cultural center of your country (Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Norfolk, etc.). Now use your limited funds to procure another one-room flat in the worst part of this town, one not unlike the one you lived in before. This will make you seem avant-garde and edgy. Close all the windows in your apartment, buy something you can type on (a typewriter will add to the edgy thing) and get mind-numbingly drunk.
Throw in some drugs too, heroin is a favorite.
Now that you’re completely fucked up, sit down and write for the next 8 hours. Use coke to stay awake (and not the drink, you idiot). Now take whatever you just typed and send it directly to a publisher. Do not edit it, don’t even proofread it. If there’s blood or beer on it, that’s fine. In fact, you might want to sprinkle a little on your draft if there isn’t any there accidentally. Now send it to that publisher.
Your inevitable rejection will fuel your motivation, as well as drive you even further into the bottle. By now you should be drinking several bottles of cheap vodka just to get a buzz. The rejection should cause you to head into a downward spiral, a heady whirlwind of drugs, cheap liquor and even cheaper prostitutes. This period of self-destruction should last a few years. Now, repeat what you did earlier; you know, the drug/alcohol fueled writing session? Except this time, proofread and edit it. Even better, have one of your sober friends do that. If one can’t be found, have one of your favorite prostitutes do it for you. They’ll probably charge a premium though. Now send this revised draft to a publisher, there’s a good chance they’ll actually do something about it. If they don’t that’s okay. The next step will be sure to make you a timeless writer.
edit Step 4: Joining the Literary Greats
Okay, now write some more stuff. Write some when you’re sober, some when you're trashed, some when you’re kinda buzzed. As a matter of fact, just forget being sober and be high and drunk all the time. Step in dog shit. See what sticks. Then puke on your hands and keyboard, but never in a waste basket. Congratulations! Now you're prepared to write a bunch of depressing stuff! Write essays about politics, write short stories about butthole people you know. Allow your now debilitating drug addiction and alcoholism to be your creative inspiration and just write a bunch of stuff. It doesn't matter if it's good material. It'll be the editor's job to fix your mistakes. Finally, write a novel with yourself as the protagonist. Portray yourself as misunderstood, and make all your failures tragic and all your successes (there should only be a few) heroic. (Pro Tip: Remember that you're smarter than everybody else. You're a genius. And only you see the Societal Truth.) Now take everything you have written and pile it neatly on your desk. You're going to kill yourself, or contrive to get yourself killed. Yeah, you heard me right: You're going to end your own life. Oh, come on! Don’t be such a little bitch. Just do it. Look at Poe, look at Hemingway, look at Woolf. If you want to be a writing legend, you must be dead. You’re about to die anyway from the damage the heavy drinking and drug abuse have done to your body, so what's the difference if you take a little short-cut? "The drinking made me interesting..." Idiot. Look, if you’re not willing to blow your brains out like a man, at least begin slowly killing yourself from liver failure like pussy faggot Jack Kerouac! Remember this; if you’re going to commit suicide, do it in a way that won’t damage your manuscripts, because, retard, that’s what’s going to make you a great writer. This part is important. Do not douse yourself with gasoline and set yourself on fire because your manuscripts could be lost forever. What, did you think simply because you were a writer people would care posthumously care about you? You need something to give them, moron. Something to show the people how frustrated and tormented you were in life. Fuck, don't you know anything? I HATE YOU.
Further, you will want to write a simple, cryptic suicide note. Something like, "For the love of Water Sports," or, "The light bulb won." If you’re going to die from drugs/alcohol, prepare some final words. This is what’s gonna be written on your soon-to-be-famous tombstone, so don’t waste it on something clichéd like “I’m coming mother," “My feet are cold," or, "I. Couldn't. Stop. That. Dripping. Faucet."
Take a cue from the infamous Henry Dumpkowski: "Was Cold Living Shit, now Hot Dead Shit." That's an eye catcher!
After you’re dead, you’re going to be a great big celebrity. Everyone’s going to bemoan the fact that you died and that you were so misunderstood during your time. Countless high school and college students will have to write papers examining and analyzing your works. You might even inspire a few misled individuals to write as well. So you’ll be immortal, but not really ‘cause you’re dead.