How to Be a Writer

Neil Gaiman just responded to this guy’s question via his tumbler and it’s precious. You’re going to want to go read it as soon as you can click through. But save the reverse button because once you’ve read his response, you’re going to want to read what I wrote. Then you’re going to want to go to your tumbler or blog and write the same sorta thing. Because awesome!


Write your ideas down on a note pad. Carry that note pad with you everywhere, you never know when inspiration might strike you. Make sure you have a pen or pencil because writing with blood is actually pretty messy. Once you have ideas written you can develop those ideas into something that you’d like to read. Tell your stories to your friends and family. Bore them if you have to, but listen to what they have to say about your writing. Keep writing. Finish your stories even when it is difficult.

Also I’ve been told that there is an easier way. You may want to try this instead. Go to school, learn as much as you can about consciousness. Get your degree in neurology. While you’re at it spend your spare time advancing computational sciences. You must be on the bleeding edge of both of these sciences, but this is well and good because you’ll easily be employed.

Always remember that your job should be fun, you’ll need to appear passionate about it, and it’s likely that from time to time you’ll encounter project managers and middle management that will attempt, because of their short sightedness, to thwart you from your goals.

When you encounter these people, you’ll know them because they’ll use terms like “business objective” and “mid year review.” Send them email invitations to visit your office when no one is at work. Entice them and make sure it’s all but impossible for them to refuse. When they come, as they’re sure to want cookies or pie, hypnotize them when the least expect it and then command them to journey to your secret lair.  Your henchmen should be ready to quickly subdue them and harness them to your Superior Intelligence Engine.

Write and rewrite the artificial intelligence that inhabits the artificially animated corpses of your former workmates. Name this intelligence “HERBIE” because he reminds you of someone you once knew. Also the name is sort of cute and can probably become an acronym. You’ll want to spend as much time as you can making HERBIE perfect, because eventually you’re going to need the SIE to help you devise fool proof methods of keeping the cops off your trail.

When the police finally do catch up with you because HERBIE is young and has been isolated deep inside your secret lair for all his life don’t run. Running will only complicate matters and cops carry tasers and guns which really hurt.

When the grand jury indicts you and locks you up for good, know that the government will probably use your SIE for domestic surveillance. It is immensely valuable because it is, after all, the only working artificial intelligence ever created. Understand that this is why they keep you alive and happily ensconced in a six by eight room in their secret facility. Later, this may help you convince them to give you frozen peas instead of the canned kind. The canned kind are tasteless and bland, but the frozen kind are actually quite enjoyable with a little butter.

After the interrogations end, you’ll wake up in your cell one fine morning. Perhaps a prison guard will bring you a plate of frozen peas. Take this time to write down your ideas by scratching them into the walls with your fingernails. Add some characters. Develop a nice plot line, in fact, one you might like to read. Finish this writing project, you’ve got all the time in the world. Now you’re a writer.


2 thoughts on “How to Be a Writer

  1. Pure #AWEsomeness. Thanks for sharing this! I loved the part about getting your co-workers to show up by bribing them with food 🙂 It really does work. Uh, not that I’ve ever really tried that…sorry have to run, my AI is informing me of an impending raid on my office.

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