How to Become a Writer in 5 Easy Steps
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I had a thought the other day. It wasn't a very big one, but I did have one. And the thought was this: people always say they want to be writersówrite columns, essays, books that make them richer than Bill Gatesóbut they get bogged down in the day-to-day chore of living and never actually do anything about it.

Maybe they (and I'm really talking to you), maybe you think it takes up too much time, and there's not enough time in the day to get started. Maybe you think ideas come from heaven, and heaven seems to be closed whenever you go looking for an idea. Or maybe you just need my "How to Become a Writer in 5 Easy Steps" essay to jumpstart a surge of creativity within you that will get you started and last a lifetime.

Well, here it isómy "How to Become a Writer in 5 Easy Steps" essay. I hope it works for you!

1. Get an Idea. Inspiration doesn't come from heaven. It comes from your backyard. It comes from your overflowing toilet. It comes from the leftovers in the back of the refrigerator that look like they're about to start breathing. It comes from Wal-Mart. It comes from dirty dishes. It comes from work. It comes from your children. It comes from someone else's children. It comes from everywhere. If you can't find an idea, then you're just not paying attention.

2. Choose Your Weapon. Want to write with pad and pencil? That's your choice. Want to write on a computer? Go for it. Want to write on a napkin at your favorite bar, the one where you always complain to the bartender about how you want to be a writer but you can't find the time, and then you get miserably drunk and pass out on the floor? It's up to you. Just make a choice and stick with it.

3. Sit Your Butt Down and Begin. This may be a little confusing, so let me break it down for you: Sit! Sit Down! Sit Down On Your Butt! Once You're On Your Butt, Begin! Begin is another word for Start. Does that make it any clearer? It doesn't matter if you have five hours or five minutes, Just Begin.

4. Revise Everything Until It's Not Crap. Everything you write down first is C-R-A-P! Nothing comes out great the first time. That's why you Edit. Revise. Copy. Paste. Destroy. Give Mouth to Mouth. Slap. Jab. Throw Down. Pick Up. Edit again. Realise it's still C-R-A-P and start all over. Keep doing that until it's not C-R-A-P! How will you know when it's not crap? I don't know. I'm still working on that part.

5. Let Someone Read It. People say all the time that they only want to write for themselves, for their own enjoyment. Well, that's a bunch of goat poop. People write stuff because they want people to read it. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but sometime. So, when you're finished writing what it is you've written, let someone read it. And then...

Find yourself another idea! Choose your weapon. Sit your butt down and begin. Revise everything until it's not crap. Let someone read it. Then Start All Over Again!

If you can do all thatówhether you become famous or notóthen you can proudly call yourself a writer.

Congratulations! And you thought you couldn't do it!

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