Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Write your way to blogcess™: Tips from a blogging legend

Can-Smashing Robot celebrated its ninth birthday in July, and as a way of thanking my readers for a near-decade of unpopularity, I thought I'd do something special. Hypothetically, I'm constantly being swarmed in grocery stores, wine tastings, and my endocrinologist's waiting room by people of varied backgrounds who share nothing except this message: "Hey, you're Josh Krauter, right? Do you have any advice for anyone hoping to get into the writing game, paid or otherwise?" Well, I've never been paid for my work, so I don't know anything about that, but I do know from otherwise. Boy, do I ever. Without any further ado, here is my advice for transforming your writing from fool's gold into 24-karat nuggets of genius.

1. Avoid Topical References
Too often, amateurs will pepper their work with references to the hot celebrities and events of the day, not realizing how dated these references to, for example, the Hot Pantzz Boyz 2000, Millicent Cyrus, and the country of Syria will seem to readers of the future. If you are going to reference a famous individual, make sure it is someone who has withstood the vicissitudes and whirligigs of the various decades, reputation intact.

For quick reference, here is a list of celebrities it is okay to mention in your work (you may want to print this out and stick it on your computer or typewriter):
William Shakespeare
Sigmund Freud
Elvis ("the King of rockin' roll") Presley
Led Zeppelin
Marilyn Monroe
Pete Best
the Vicomte de Noailles
Peabo Bryson
Mark Twain
the famous Pope
Carly Rae Jepson
that guy's dad who's always making sassy comments on Twitter

2. Don't plagiarize
Don't plagiarize anything verbatim. You will get caught. However, it is okay to find someone much smarter than you and steal their ideas.

3. Write about da Vinci codes.
Write about da Vinci codes. People love that shit.

4. Don't waste time revising.
I've been blogging for nine years, and I have three different blogs. Every post is a rough draft. I could have polished each post and made it better, in some cases a lot better, but that would have sucked up time better spent eating deli meats and watching "Dharma & Greg." Readers don't know the difference and they don't care. I've posted some seriously terrible shit and no one's complained.

5. Make up words.
Look what I did in the title to this post. I made up the word "blogcess." This is Method A, which is the method where you take one word and smoosh it into another word. I smooshed "blog" into "success" and now you can't stop saying it. It's probably already gone viral. Method B is also effective. Method B is the method in which you just make up a word on the spot. Wingodangle. I just did it. You can have that one for free. Use it as you see fit, and watch the website hits soar into double digits.

6. Listen to the vernacular of the streets and incorporate it into your work.
If you want your work to pop, to really jump off the page with verisimilitude and pizzazz, you've got to get off your sweet, sweet can and mingle with the people. See what makes them tick. Hear what they're saying and how they're saying it. For example, I had a story idea that would require me to capture the essence of three young children. Instead of just winging it, I wandered onto a nearby playground to soak up the verbal world of today's youth. As I wandered over to a group of kids playing on the monkey bars, I heard this opening salvo: "Mr. Walker smells like pee." Attempting to blend in with the tykes, I put forth a witticism aimed at their primitive level of humor. "I saw Sylvester Stallone on the television last night," I began. "He's sure aged. Sylvester Stallone, more like Sylvester Nursing Home. Right, dudes?" I then raised my right hand to await the many high fives I was about to receive. Oddly, this gesture was not reciprocated, but I absorbed their priceless replies, which were a veritable literary goldmine of childhood vernacular:
"Who's Stavester Stallone? Is he your dad?"
"Why are you here?"
"Who are you?"
"Why are you on the monkey bars? You are a man."
"Stranger danger! Stranger danger!"
Classic stuff. Get out there and listen, and then use it. The streets are always talking and always patiently awaiting a scribe with the vision to capture it all.

7. Stock your liquor cabinet.
Make sure you have plenty of booze on hand, in case I stop by.

8. Commune with the dolphins. 
Just kidding. Don't do that. It's fucking stupid.

Alright, fans. Now that you have absorbed this advice, what are you waiting for? Get blogging. One day, you, too, may achieve my legendary status in the blogosphere and know how it feels to reply to the question, "How's the air over there on your side of the fence, the side with the greener grass?" with the answer, "Pretty damn clean and refreshing, my less distinguished friend. Pretty damn clean and refreshing."

1 comment:

Spacebeer said...

I've never met a more blogcessful person than you, babe. Also that pencil graphic is the most amazing thing I've ever seen on the internet.