Welcome to Word Hole, a weekly humorous (sometimes profound, enlightening, life-changing, and always engaging) column (for lack of a better word) brought to you by us here at the Columbia Journal. This week for our inaugural post we have a small piece offering advice to all you would-be scribblers out there. Enjoy.
bad writing advice by colin sullivan
write high; edit high. while high, get more high. use very short sentences. never use capital letters. never wear underpants. never use the word “impact” when you mean “affect”. get high again, then get drunk. preferably on blue curaçao. spoiler alert: this will make your tongue blue and your liver green. now, re-write that crap you wrote but this time do it from right to left — lying in a bath-tub, with no water. eat pizza. watch 16 game of thrones episodes at 4 times the normal speed, with no sound. have sex or jerk off. masturbation: never out of style. have a beer shit. that’s correct. you heard me: have it, don’t take it. taking shits is ridiculous. leaving them is better. where to take them after all? what are you, a dog? what are you going to do, poop into a bag and take it to a trash can? wake up the next day. get sober; go to an AA meeting; find god or an advanced alternative. learn the steps but do not confuse them with the bill of rights. while praying to your god, re-evaulate the semi-colon. give it a hard look. then have a hasty sober relationship with a man or woman half your age or twice your age who makes you want to get drunk and high all over again. before you relapse, re-write that shit you wrote earlier but this time do it sober; re-edit the entire thing, sober; read it aloud to your dog, sober. finally, go back to square one, which is a bong hit the size of harlem. your own private adderall. pretend your name is earnest lannister, the drunk king-poet of everything. shoot your prose in the chest with a crossbow. decapitate your poetry with an iron mallet. then write a novel about your experience. or a memoir pretending to be a novel or more likely a novella because nobody has time to read it anyway. insist on no capital letters all over again. teach without really knowing how. don’t get published. never get published. stop writing.
Colin Sullivan‘s reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Greenwire and other outlets. He recently left journalism to pursue essays and fictions full time.