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.
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!