(This originally appeared in a, now defunct, writing newsletter so I thought I'd stick it here.)
Thank you for your application to become A Writer. We are happy to tell you that you have been successful on this occasion. However, it is imperative that we keep up standards and to this end we require you adhere to strict guidelines in order to protect our trade. I have supplied a copy of these guidelines. Please read these five simple rules carefully and do not let us down.
1) Whether at a dinner party or merely enjoying the waxing moon on a balmy night with a young lady - you must remember, at all times, that you are A Writer. Tell people, tell them as often as possible and with an emphasis on the dramatic. Suitable conversational cues for the beginner can be:
"I’m John, you are…?"
“Peter, I am (pause for effect) A Writer."
“What shall we order?”
“This menu is terribly written, it has no plot arc. I know, for I am - A Writer!”
“So what do you do then?”
“I am - A Writer!”
“A funny thing happened to me the other day.”
“Tell me of it, it may provide inspiration. Lack of inspiration is death to A Writer, for that is what I am!”
“Why haven’t you paid your credit card bill sir?”
“I AM A WRITER.”
“I’m tired now dear, I’m off to bed.”
2) A Writer and someone who writes are two entirely different things. Any fool can put words down on paper. A Writer is an artist, he is A Writer whether he has written a word or not. Be The Writer, don’t let technicalities hold you back.
3) Do not listen to the critic. They may try to make it seem like they want to be helpful. This is a lie. You know within your heart you are A Writer, a genius and above them all. Pillory them for their foolishness when they do not see the beauty in your words. Strike at them and know you are in the right for you, my friend, are A Writer.
4) Value your creativity beyond all things. Be true to your vision, Do not allow yourself to be fettered by earthly rules such as grammar or spelling. Fly high on the wings of what you know to be beyond all comparison. Some may not be able to read it, that is their loss not yours.
5) When you come across others whose talent may be near or even (however unlikely this is) equal. Hate them. Hate them well.
Your badge and complimentary fountain pen will follow in a separate post (you will need to sign for these).
Nefariouos T Cumblepot.
For a mere £199.99 we now offer the 'Whisper, pause, stand with a finger in the air,' Workshop on announcing your profession to strangers. Sign up now or risk forever being ignorant!
P.S. If you are A Poet please follow the same rules but substitute ‘Poet’ for ‘Writer’. We work from the same office and sometimes the letters get mixed up.