How to Become a Writer Part 3

Besides murky, menacing bureaucracies, Kafka also wrote about cockroaches. If you really, really, want to learn how to become a writer and escape The Registry, you might want to read him because he clearly foretold what being a member is all about. He didn’t write all that much, either, so it shouldn’t take that long and his books are on tape. Kafka goes well late at night, by candlelight, with tea or stout or tincture and dropping the adjective “Kafkaesque” in a future query letter might impress a literary agent who has never read Kafka, either. So bone up! And remember, Woody Allen once used the adjective to great comedic effect in one of his funny movies and that you watched an episode of Baywatch in jail surrounded by other members of The Registry and any writer worth his salt peter should be able to turn that into a humorous moment of Kafkaesque experience.

Speaking of Woody Allen, at least the late 70’s Woody Allen, it is important for you to inject humor into your story at all costs. Any kind of humor, even pratfalls. The Registry, if it is anything, is the ultimate American black French existential comedy that no one is laughing at or with because the performances take place under bridges and in windowless rooms papered with inspirational statements ripped off from exterminated Native American tribes.

The crucial third step is next. It requires your full attention and full acceptance: as soon as you join The Registry, you will be relegated, cast out, ditched, exiled, marooned, shunned, ostracized, abandoned, discarded, blackballed. Pariah status then ensues—instantly, totally. You are a full-fledged social pariah, a leper. Be forewarned, all of this unfolds in silence but it does make a sound, like a tree falling in a rain forest with no one around to hear it. That tree will eventually rot, but, unlike ecology in a real forest, the log that You Are, won’t nurse life. It probably won’t even decompose. It will petrify.

What a metaphor! Super fluid and complex! It even obliquely references a Salinger anti-hero classic! Would-be writers need complex metaphors to enrich their prose. They often provide subconscious hope for humanity in discerning readers.

The metaphor of the fallen, rotting tree may sound bleak, hopeless, terminal, but scratch beneath the moss and bark and you will discover that…there is nothing else there. The tree really is dead and not cultivating any new life. There is no ecology whatsoever in this because ecology depends on natural collaboration. Pariahs have no collaborators.

But consider this your LUCKY BREAK! Eternal status as a social pariah means eternal solitude. No partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, or naturally, a collaborator. Welcome celibacy and monasticism. You’re going to be alone forever, not counting the dog. This is perfect for your writing. You also have another excellent advantage working for you: membership in The Registry means exclusion from almost every job in American society that you qualify for or interests you. Thus, a job will never pose a distraction! A real writer can’t have distractions! You’ll have all the time in the world to sit you ass in the chair (or stand up like Thomas Wolfe and Rilke) and write. There are pesky issues of eating and paying the rent, but you’re smart, creative, have an extensive vocabulary, and knowledge of edible wild foods. It will all work out somehow or you will simply die. (Be sure to make the death very poignant, verging on poetic. In the note, sprinkle in some arcane literary references, and of course, metaphors.)

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