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Five Fail-safe Ways to become a Writer – The Official Guide

by Pompadour

First, a warning. While the methods of becoming a successful writer are simple enough to follow, I hasten to tell you that you must be absolutely certain if you wish to surrender yourself to the Writer's Fate. We shall be discussing aforementioned fate soon enough, but it is much too early for me to attempt filling your mind with startling revelations – most of them much too frightening for anyone to even bother imagining. Again, I must press upon you that if you really, truly wish to write, you must accept the consequences. I hold no responsibility for any damage that this guide might cause – psychological or otherwise. By choosing to read on, you are agreeing to a contract. Grab a sheet of paper and write your name in large, bold letters at the top. Done?

Now sign it in blood.

Yes, blood. What are you, deaf? Pardon my rudeness, but I told you writing is a nasty business. You can still back down if you want. I'm giving you ten seconds to leave. Is that alright with you? OK, then.





Oh bother. Three, two, one.

Have you left yet? No? You're still there?

Well, if you insist that I proceed, then I suppose that settles the matter. I have no choice but to move on, as difficult as that may be. But a guide I was determined to write, and a guide this shall be. It shall not merely weave a path of successful writing-dom for the brave, but shall act as a steed, carrying them past the ramparts of fly-away dreams and hopes that shall forever perambulate the mourning moors...

Oh, I'm sorry. Got a bit carried away there.

Let's get started then!


Baleful beginnings are a big writing no-no.

The most difficult thing to do while writing is coming up with a catchy beginning. Imagine sparks, neon-sign boards on Mars or aeroplanes that whizz through your brain. Something that really manages to reel you in! Are you done painting the picture? Is it vivid enough?

Good. You're half a writer already.

Now just write it down. It's easy, really. Just imagine being chased by a dinosaur on rollerblades that's heading your way. The only way to fend off the ghastly beast is to write. I have often been told that the sound of a pencil (or a pen) scratching away at a piece of paper is similar to the toe-dance of a tangerine cockatoo. As to the credibility of their existence, I'm afraid that no one really knows. But if the dodo bird existed, then why wipe the tangerine cockatoo from the list? After all, there is veracity in every kind of statement. I have also learnt that it is lies which bear the greatest amount of truth. To learn more about the enigma that is truth within lies, I would suggest you refer to "Thirteen deceitful ways to tell the truth," by Sir William Haiperbowl.


Be creative.

Now, you might have noticed that there is no step two in this alleged guide of mine. I assure you that that "mistake" was purely intentional, merely an example of the unexpected forms creativity can take. The foundation of your writing depends on creativity. How you choose to execute said creativity depends completely on you, of course. You might be partial towards the kind of creativity that leans towards the art of turning hills into moles or china shops into bulls. Or you might go for the saner approach and choose to talk in robotic computer tongue. This not only has the added advantage of the reader being unable to criticize your work, it also ensures the creation of a hype. Remember: the key to writing is the creation of "hype." If you has the hype, you has the hamburger. As simple as that.

An example of the robotic computer tongue is as below:

ORIGINAL: Caboolby capasta. Roobelshlinkle.

TRANSLATION: There was a skunk in my sausage. I ate it.


Stock up on caffeine.

You might have an unexplainable liking for coffee, or you might fulfill the British stereotype by chugging down three cups of tea a day, every day. I possess a great fondness for caffeine myself, and am proud to confess that I usually drink five cups of tea a day.

WARNING: Side-effects may include you attempting orangutan-like dance moves or hysterical laughter. But that is completely normal for a writer. Because the biggest secret behind being a writer is driving yourself towards a steep decline, and then plunging into the depths of insanity. Success is tantamount to insanity. Remember that.


Get yourself a NIB injection.

NIB is an abbreviation for Nonsensical Imagination Bug. Once the NIB has been injected into your bloodstream, you shall become subjected to PENS – Professional Embellishment Necessity Syndrome. This syndrome shall turn your everyday into a melody, so the greatest of misadventures shall come a-hearkening to your doorstep. It's fool-proof. It's fail-safe. It's cheap!

And now, I shall move on to describe a very important trace that is left behind once a person has come into contact with PENS. Yes, I am talking about the Writer's Fate. You may experience bouts of depression, euphoria or a feeling of unexplainable drunkenness. Your life could be spent in a haze, seeking out your dreams and chasing after them with butterfly nets. You could go crazy, your thoughts verging on suicidal, and you might talk in a mystical tongue only fellow writers can understand. Your entire life will be spent in isolation, talking to tree-bark and singing rhapsodies to the beetles. Not the Beatles, mind you. Just the beetles. That is, I am afraid, the Writer's Fate.

Thank you for reading this guide. I am afraid you have no choice but to abide by the methods I have preserved here, in the hope that they shall be a guiding light for future generations and shall pave a path to imminent success in the pen-wielding realm.

Coming soon: The Guide to all Guides -- what not to believe in a Guide.

Adios, and good luck!


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102 Reviews

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Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:22 pm
LUNARGIRL wrote a review...

This was hilarious, but intuitive writing! It was very realistic, because there are side effects to being a writer. Keeping your sanity is not one of them. The way you wrote this guide, considering your word choice, makes it so funny for the reader. I loved this, it made me laugh so many times.

Thanks for writing this,

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6 Reviews

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Reviews: 6

Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:39 am
JasperCollins wrote a review...

The style of this work completely makes it hilarious, yet insightful to writing! Although it may be a tad zany, it is very true that these are the feelings and side effects of being a writer. The arrangement of the step-by-step procedure makes it all the more funny. Everything about this piece is amazing. Keep up the good work!

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Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:45 am
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DrFeelGood says...

This is hilarious! :D Made my day.

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Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:29 pm
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wakarimasen says...

ROTFL! Oh my goodness, this had me laughing so hard! Your style made me think distinctly of Lemony Snicket, especially with the way you give the reader a chance to put the piece down before it's too late. :D

I'd love to read the Guide to All Guides -- What Not to Believe in a Guide after this! :D

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269 Reviews

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Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:26 am
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Gravity wrote a review...

I really hate to rain on your parade. I just didn't love this as much as everybody else did. That's normal for me, I tend to like the pieces that are hidden on this site in a nook or a cranny, or like ones that others don't favor. I also don't typically absolutely love the ones that everybody else is crazy for, so don't take this personally.

I didn't really find much humor in this. Maybe it's because lately it's been difficult to make me laugh, idk. To me it just seemed like with the fanciful language and stuff like that, I thought you were trying a little too hard to be funny.

The other thing. This might just be my OCD bugging me, but I don't think you can really say this is a list of five. Without step two, it's a list of four. So yeah.

I think the truly funny thing you wrote was in my opinion, the last thing in steep 1 about the cockatoo. That made me chuckle.

I'm really sorry, it's probably just me. Like I said, things like this aren't typically works I like all that much, I'm really not trying to be negative. I saw a few grammar and spelling errors, but none that are all that important. So good job on writing this which was technically correct. I must compliment you on the great vocab you used, it really was very astounding.

Sorry, again.


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Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:14 am
EmoChikXoX says...

This is just awesome :D

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Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:16 pm
StupidSoup says...

Overkill likes XD

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622 Reviews

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Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:52 am
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Messenger says...

you got 24 likes!!!!!

Messenger says...

you just keep getting 'em!Never knew I could help so much

Pompadour says...

Amazing innit?
Spoiler! :
Whatever you do, don't shoot the Messenger. :mrgreen:

Messenger says...

you got that right ;)

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493 Reviews

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:09 pm
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Holysocks says...

It's too perfect! XD

I even took the 'Writers Fate' seriously. I mean... it's true, a lot of writers are drunk, depressed, interesting, and very, very, confused/lonely. That part made me kind of sad, and it made me realize something... though I'm not sure what that is yet!

Anyway, I liked it! :-P

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1007 Reviews

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:38 pm
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TimmyJake wrote a review...

Timmy here for a quick review...

I am sorry. Normally I would review this piece and the next few thousand lines would be cluttered with both my useless thoughts and nitpicks, and then I would say a few things in small words down at the bottom, but with this?

All I can find to say are nice words on this piece. :)

This is the most amazing guide I have ever seen. Trust me. I have searched everywhere for the complete guide to being a writer, and none express everything so effortlessly like you do. Nothing tells me what I have to do if I want to succeed as a writer...

Sign it in blood? No problem... I'll just borrow someone else's. :mrgreen:

I guess my favorite part would be the sicknesses you prescribed to me... So you say that in order to be a writer, I must be sick? How unfair is that? Is there no cure for these writer sicknesses? I do know one cure for all writer sicknesses. Its actually a sickness in itself.

Writers Block.

That is the worst sickness ever! Anyway, I think I am getting a little off track here...

This was perfectly done, my Pompous friend. You have successfully accomplished something that all writers fear. With this ultimate guide beside my heart, I will blaze a path through my writing struggles with an attitude like yours. Absolute confidence in my abilities... :D

Thank you for publishing this ultimate guide. Otherwise I might not have been able to post this review, being unable to write correctly. The NIB injection has been administered. I am waiting on the final step now. I will update my status when the side affects begin bothering me. :D
~Darth Timmyjake

Pompadour says...

Writer's block isn't a sickness; it's a symptom. That's my take on things anyway. Bahaha.

Jeez, I'll have to steer clear of you now you've become susceptible to NIB. Otherwise you'll end up chasing me with a pitchfork or a torch. I'm not particularly fond of angry mobs. XD

Thanks for reviewing! :D

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530 Reviews

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:36 pm
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Renard says...

I cannot believe so many people have read this and failed to notice or point out that you jump from:

Step One


Step Three

What happened to Step Two?!!!!!!!!!!!

Pompadour says...

Now, you might have noticed that there is no step two in this alleged guide of mine. I assure you that that "mistake" was purely intentional, merely an example of the unexpected forms creativity can take.

That's why, lol. XD

I am an absolute idiot.
I apologise. I should learn to read more carefully. LOL.

*gives candy*

Pompadour says...

Hahaha, it's OK.

*noms candy* :3

Phew. :3

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60 Reviews

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:37 am
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StealTheWorld says...

This was hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.

"If you has the hype, you has the hamburger." <--- My favorite line.

Keep it up!

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74 Reviews

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:37 am
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This was simply hilarious! It wasn't a story in the normal sense but yet it was... that makes absolutely no sense I'm sorry. I thought it was funny... both because of the way you wrote it and the fact that it's true :) I can't wait for your next guide.

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:34 am
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GreenLight24 says...

Hahahahahaha. This. Rules.

Thank you, Madame Pompadour. :)

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:57 pm
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MysteryMe says...


Only word I can use to describe your work... well done ;)

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:13 pm
Aragi says...

Can't believe you're sixteen, talent is apparent in this work. Made me smile, made me laugh, and made me glad to be on this website. That's all I have to say.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:59 am
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TakeThatYouFiend wrote a review...

*Peers over half moon spectacles*
"What is the interesting work?"
Hilarious!!! This is really good, I particularly liked the NIB injection! (Huzzah for the quill pen!)
Another particularly funny bit was "the guide to all guides", which is a brilliant title, and rather like having a list of all your lists.
Merely a minute query; why the colon at the end? Perhaps 'tis an unfinished smiley or a clue to a treasure hunt?...
Your extensive delightful vocabulary is undoubtedly the key to your successful writings and witterings, to be sure. For instance "perambulate". Long word club!
And now I bide farewell with a "Caboolby capasta. Roobelshlinkle."
Take That You Fiend!

Pompadour says...

You have half moon spectacles? Wicked!
The semicolon was a mistake that I was too lazy to edit out. It shall remain there to haunt anyone who dares to read this piece, bahahaha. Only one question remains now: did you eat the skunk, or the sausage? Hmm.
Thanks for the review! :)

Unfortunately the spectacles are my dads...
Sausage of course! Duh.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:00 am
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Messenger wrote a review...

bahahahahahah. . . .ahahahah. . . . AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh my WORD! *Has been laughing the whole time is reading* Phew! this is spectacular Pomps. I mean most of the comment below have captured everything you need to know. I noticed that you have an error: you go from Step One to Step Three. *Looks high and low for Step Two. is not seeing it anywhere.* oh woops, I didn't read on i was so sure it was a "mistake" Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck.

Stock up on caffeine.

You might have an unexplainable liking for coffee, or you might fulfill the British stereotype by chugging down three cups of tea a day, every day. I possess a great fondness for caffeine myself, and am proud to confess that I usually drink five cups of tea a day.

WARNING: Side-effects may include you attempting orangutan-like dance moves or hysterical laughter. But that is completely normal for a writer. Because the biggest secret behind being a writer is driving yourself towards a steep decline, and then plunging into the depths of insanity. Success is tantamount to insanity. Remember that.

OK I totally don't agree with this. I never have anything while writing besides water. But I guess there are lots of writers who do . . .

OK that was just hilarious. I don't know what to tell you. It was so funny, but beneath all the hysterical laughter you have some pretty good points. Let me know when the next guide comes out.

Sorry @MysteryMe, I think Pomp just wrote a better article about being a writer then you did with "You want to be a writer? No you don't!" OK JK you are about equal.
Keep it up!


Pompadour says...

Haha, thanks Mess! ^_^ The coffee/tea thing is actually this stereotype that people have grown to associate with writers, and it isn't true for me either. I just couldn't resist putting it in though.

Bah, rants are in a league all on their own. Guides come nowhere near on that scale, but thanks anyway. :D Cheers!

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267 Reviews

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:57 pm
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Nike says...


Happy Review Day!

I believe I have nothing to review here. I must say, I enjoyed this way too much. Your writing style is magnificent. No spelling or grammar mistakes. I just wish this could be so much longer! I'm so crazy for even saying that.

- Nike

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170 Reviews

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:03 pm
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deleted5 says...

Not a review! Not even a comment! Just one acronym!

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:50 pm
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BluesClues wrote a review...

I like this, and it's funny--and I like that it almost satirizes the supposed pompousness of writers by going off on extended metaphors about the guide being like a "steed" and things like that.

However, I would suggest changing the acronyms for the virus and disease in Step Five. I understand you were trying to be funny, and it is creative, but using acronyms of a real virus and disease--a virus and disease which are extremely painful, ostracizing, and deadly--could seriously trigger some people. I don't have or know anyone with HIV/AIDS, but I feel like this point in an otherwise amusing fictional essay could really upset some people, not in a simple "I'm offended by this because I don't like it" way but an "I'm severely upset because my aunt died of AIDS" way.

What I would suggest is changing the acronyms to words that actually have to do with writing. For example, PEN. Or you could go crazier and, since it's a virus and a disease, give them acronyms that have to do with the writer going crazy once his system is set upon by this virus and disease.

It's just a personal thing and a matter of preference, but I strongly advise changing your acronyms here, since not only can mention of HIV/AIDS in a humorous way be very triggering but also as HIV/AIDS has nothing in particular to do with writing.

Otherwise this was a charming, funny piece.


Pompadour says...

I didn't really mean to strike that chord when I mentioned AIDS, but now that I think about it, it was actually pretty tactless and careless for me to talk about it in such a throw-away fashion. Thanks for pointing that out, and I've edited it accordingly. I didn't really mean to be offensive.

Thank you for the wonderful review! :D


BluesClues says...

You're welcome! And thank you for not being offended by my pointing it out. It really was a funny piece otherwise.

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:58 am
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WallFlower wrote a review...


You had me laughing out loud for more than half of that. You are really good at writing humor!

I think the funniest thing about this whole guide is that there is truth buried in there. Sure, it's cloaked in exaggeration and crazy comparisons, but it's there.

So I laugh because I understand.

I especially liked the part about the side effects of too much caffeine.

Keep writing and making people laugh! :)


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Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:19 pm
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Magenta wrote a review...

Pompadour. Hello again and Happy Review Day!

I admit, this gave me the giggles! You should write some more humorous thing because you do pretty well. I insist that you do! There really isn't much to change with this because the fun of it practically takes the mistake out. ;)

"While the methods of becoming a successful writer are simple enough to follow, I hasten to tell you that you must be absolutely certain if you wish to surrender yourself to the Writer's Fate" Would "hasten" be the right word here? I think you might want to change that word? Perhaps say that you hastily tell us. I'm not sure.

"Now sign it blood." Do you mean "now sign it in blood"?

"OK, then." As for this, you should really write out "OK" as "okay" and I don't think that you need the comma there.

"Oh bother." Did you mean "oh brother?"

Other than those few things, I think that this is great! Good job with this. Although, I think that if I was planning to be a writer, I would consider choosing something safer and wouldn't involve any blood. Just don't scare everyone off!

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.
— Franz Kafka