How to Be a Fiction Writer

1. Wake up in the morning. If you are hungover, go vomit.

2. Eat breakfast. Or don't. It doesn't really matter what you do all day. At some point during the day you will need to get naked.

3. Get naked. You are allowed to wear running shoes, because they will make you go faster.

4. Find a brick wall. The wall should be thicker than two handspans and built this century. It can be a free-standing brick wall or a wall that holds up a building.

5. Count off fifty paces away from the wall. Take your mark.

6. Run as fast as you can at the brick wall. Swing your arms! Yell if it feels good!

7. If you are very old or in a wheelchair, you will need to find a different way to hurl yourself at the brick wall instead of running. Be creative! Motorized wheelchairs can go pretty fast these days. If you "stop short," the forward momentum ought to catapult you into the wall even faster than a naked sprinter.

8. The trick is to hurl yourself into the brick wall as hard as you can. I like to go face first, but other people prefer the ass-slide, or even the knee-jump. Remember: the skull is the hardest part of the human body.

9. You are probably injured. Don't get up right away. Lay there until you are ready. Don't be a hero. Go to the hospital if you need to go to the hospital.

10. Don't expect much sympathy. After all, you did just get naked and hurl yourself into a brick wall. No one will feel bad for your broken bones, your bleeding head, or your separated spine. Doctors will actually be mad at you.

11. Also, if you are poor, no one will feel bad that you are poor. Instead of working, you spent your entire day hurling yourself naked at a brick wall and then recovering from this. What is wrong with you?

12. People might question your sanity, but they will also be afraid of you.

13. You will need to make money somehow. Get a job. Any job. Wear pancake make-up to hide the bruises. Pretend to care about other things that your co-workers care about.

14. Get naked and run as fast as you can into a brick wall every day. Wisdom from the ages: it helps if it is the same brick wall.

15. You will need to find a way to forget how much it hurts to fling yourself into a brick wall every day. Some people find that drinking alcohol helps. Other people enjoy heroin or travel.

16. Hang out with other people who also get naked and fling themselves at brick walls. "Fiction writers." These other "fiction writers" will understand you. They will not be able to help you, but they will also not think you are crazy or dangerous.

17. One day -- one day very, very far from now -- one day so far away that you will basically be a different person -- it is possible that you will be able to knock down a brick wall with your naked body.

18. Obviously, this is not a guarantee.

19. No one will pay you for this. Getting naked and knocking down brick walls is NOT a job.

20. It is possible that people will give you money just for standing in the same room with them and not killing them. It is possible that people will give you money for not destroying the walls of their homes, their businesses, their government buildings, their airplanes, and their restaurants.

21. People will also pay you to let them watch you knock down brick walls while you are naked. Your naked body will now be much more interesting to people. "That naked lady can knock down brick walls! I am interested in that kind of nudity!"

22. You will need some kind of agent or impresario to collect money from people while you recuperate in the hospital.

23. You will really enjoy getting naked and knocking down brick walls until the first time you see somebody jump off of a roof and fly.

24. They will do this so effortlessly, with such lazy grace, that it will make you weep. Your heart will go with them as they drift off into the stratosphere. You will remember the first time you let a helium balloon go. You will remember the first time you kissed a girl or a boy and you felt your feet leave the ground. You will weep like a nun performing an abortion.

25. You will spend the rest of your life jumping off of buildings and smashing your face, trying to fly. You will bust through walls effortlessly now, but this will not satisfy you in the slightest.

26. Even death will not be interesting to you anymore. What is death but one more wall? You will know that flight is possible because you have seen it done with your own eyes. After all, people used to tell you smashing walls with your naked body was impossible, too. You will fling yourself from roofs for the rest of your days, trying to replicate this one incredible act, knowing that it is the only thing worth doing.

27. This foolish quest will kill you. You will die unhappy.


Posted by miracle on Fri, 10 Jun 2011 01:34:04 -0500 -- permanent link

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