Writing Advice

It was Open Stage night down at the The Last Visible Dog, and Fuze was up.

“Ok, so, I was looking through old journals for something to read, and I stumbled across ones from when I was younger and…it was terrible. So, instead of reading any of that stuff, I’d like to read this review of them and some advice.

It’s possible that when the author achieves her mature voice her work will be interesting. But as it stands now her writing is a monument of how not to write when in your 20s. Or, perhaps, a series of examples of the kind of personal journals that should be lost and never rediscovered.

The only benefit we get from these petty maunderings is a list of things not to do if one wishes one’s writing to be readable by one’s future self. Namely:

1. Don’t date anyone. Or, if you do date anyone, don’t write about your everyday feelings. Or, if you must write about your feelings make sure to write both the first and last names of your love object as well as a description including their job, pet names, etc. Include a photo if possible, but don’t make a fucking scrapbook because that’s just sad.

2. Don’t write about yourself. You will not care about how awkward and out-of-place you saw yourself. It’s precisely the amount of awkward and out-of-place you will feel twenty years later. Just take awkward and out-of-place as a given and move the hell on.

3. Write about things you see in the world. Not the world at large. What are you, a historian? NOPE. What you see, like, out the tram window on the way to the county fair. That’ll be way less abysmal to re-read later, let me tell you.

4. Don’t write about your supposedly deep thoughts on how humans work. You’re in your 20s. You don’t know. I don’t know. We’ll never know. It’s all speculation, and it’s really not very interesting to read about.

5. If you travel, don’t write about how travel has really made you know yourself. Because it hasn’t.

6. Write about other people. But not people you’re dating. Seriously. That shit’s a total snoozefest.

7. If you cannot follow these guidelines, do not for any reason return to those journals. If you encounter them DO NOT READ THEM. Instead, gather them up, build a wee boat, and give them a Viking burial on the duck pond at the city park. That’s the only way to be sure.”


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