By Sayantan Ghosh
1. You’ll be orphaned or semi-orphaned the moment you decide to declare it to the outside world.
Read: At least one of your parents is going to tell you exactly this: “That’s fine. But you have to think about doing some work too!”
2. Never date someone who has studied literature, or reads poetry, or reads at all. They will seduce you with matching verses and then throw you in the puddle of eternal struggle.
Read: One day or the other they’ll come up with a better piece than you have ever written or possibly will ever write, and the relationship [yeah right] will die a horrible painful death anyway; because admit it… writers are a jealous lot. So why go through the ordeal?
3. Donate all those books which you have preserved for years in your precious little bookshelf like they are artifacts from the WWII [that includes the ones under your bed, or those stacked on top of the cistern (because clearly you read in the loo!!)]. And start reading ebooks on maximum screen brightness.
Read: Once you go completely or even partially blind, you’ll have graver things to deal with than writing a bloody novel!
4. Never buy that typewriter that you have been planning ever since you were a kid. Or even set your screensaver with photographs of Hemingway’s Corona or Woody Allen’s Olympia portable. It’s a trap.
Read: Typed words on paper have a distinct smell, they smudge; they become personal. And more importantly they stay with you unless a fire breaks out at your home [even the embarrassing ones that you think are long lost will suddenly reappear out of nowhere]. Use the computer instead, and never keep a back-up. One day or another you will welcome a virus that’ll make it crash!
5. Start buying books only by Toni Morrison and Haruki Murakami. Or the likes. Their writings will inspire you to feel and live your life more deeply, but they will be equally effective in dispiriting you from taking up that forbidden pen (or keyboard), because deep down you’ll know you can never write like that.
Read: In case you think you CAN actually write like them, then go right ahead. You have already spelled doom for your non-existent career, so this piece is like an ambushed amateur in front of your Léon: The Professional.
6. Start talking in alliterations. Use made-up phrases like “Dashing Dishwashers” and “Clandestine Cleavages”. That way you’ll lose friends at a geometric progression and even if you stalk and add 20 people on Facebook every day, you probably won’t be able to make up for the inevitable loss.
Read: If you have been practicing the above-said for over a month and still have the same number of friends, then either you are a billionaire or James Franco, or both.
7. Get a job in sales. Sell anything – soaps, sandals, condoms, chocolates, or even books. It won’t matter.
Read: Nothing kills ambition faster. Did I just say ‘Nothing’? Delete. Replace with ‘NOTHING’ instead!
8. Visit every mall in the city at least once each week. Stare at all the various objects at display which you’ll never be able to afford if you take to writing. Wait in front of any store for a while and imagine the fat guy in your class who once couldn’t spell ‘quant’ from ‘cunt’ walk out with bags full of goodies and walk right past you. Not recognizing you of course, you have lost so much weight since the last time you guys met that it’s like an entire person has walked out of your body.
Read: You bullied the fat guys enough in school and college years for never making it through the theatre auditions, while you almost always grabbed a significant part. You really wouldn’t want him to recognize you now!
9. Google Jennifer Lawrence. She will never be your girlfriend.
Read: This was personal! She will never be your girlfriend anyway. Even if you are the next Neil Gaiman. Even in the superfuturisticimaginaryworldinyourhead thing, she’ll always be mine.
10. Never write a letter to anybody again. Or even emails [other than sending stupid sales job applications of course]. You write a personal letter or an email and they write you back, and then you feel like writing them back again. And exactly then you’re screwed. Even if you are typing a text, use only SMS lingo, which kills all vowels and deals only in consonants: plz, 2gdr, gr8, FML, TTYL, etcetera.
Read: You are already thinking of tweeting about how shitty this article is, aren’t you? Once a writer, always one. There is no real end to this. It’s a mystical mythical force that drives through your veins and enters the cavernous depths of your very being. So here is to beating starvation and filling up pages, fellow sons of anarchy. Or daughters.
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