Jewish Journal

How to Become a Writer

by Nikki Tabibian

April 21, 2014 | 2:58 pm

How to Become a Writer
From the untold memoires of a struggling schmuck…

First off, have immigrant parents. These outstanding individuals will give you the tools to never fully trust your judgment, creating just the right amount of self-doubt for you to write, re-write, and re-re-write pieces that you will never show anybody. Additionally, their peculiar habits and clearly logical superstitions can never fail to provide some sort of inspiration. If you aren’t blessed with a foreign father or mother, I suggest you outsource; in my experience, grouchy retirees ,90 + grandparents or bitter EX-anythings can provide equally effective alternatives.

In your middle school English class, allow the wise word of Mr. Glorioso to foster your love of words. Although no one has prohibited your artistic revolution, convince yourself that you will die for your cause. Decide that the only way to write true literature is to live, breath and sh*t The Catcher in the Rye. Take a mandatory Chemistry class. Develop a fascination with accents, including that of you Russian teacher, and endearingly imitate her to your peers. Rise to the pinnacle of sixth grade popularity. Abandon writing altogether and come to the self-realization that acting is your true calling.

Take all the theater classes you can get. You are told you have stage presence. Get an agent. Shamelessly audition for your high school theater troop with a monologue from your favorite television show, Seinfeld. Get rejected. Re-audition the next year, but this time, you perform a monologue from an award winning musical, one that can’t possibly fail. Get rejected. In an e-mail explaining why you were not accepted, your theater teacher mentions, “ I don’t think portraying Yente from Fiddler on the Roof was enough of a departure from your personality to constitute as acting”. Rethink your parent’s pleas to pursue a career in medicine.

Fail AP Biology and decide that medicine is not for you.

Apply to college with a major in Undecided (not, as Barnard College’s likes to put it, in Unafraid; alas, writing out of fear can produce some pretty memorable pieces). Engineer your own strain of ‘purple prose’ that fails to amuse your mother. Keep writing anyways…

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