Advice for writers


My advice to writers:

Write what you know.

Unfortunately, this has not worked in my case (read the DSM 5 for tantalizing clues).

So, here is my personal directive on writing: learn the difference between advice and advise, for starters, and never forget to take your medications. There are so many underutilized forms of psychosis, so much untapped potential. Add to this the fact that there are thousands of medications out there (the drug companies, your friends, have a wonderful assortment of pills for you; just ask your doctor if such and such is right for you, as if your own physician, Dr. Sugar, can’t determine what you should take!)  just waiting for a chance to get in the door–and you can soon see the scope of the problem. It’s an inequity that needs redress. Watch television, pay attention to the commercials, get ideas.  I am asking you to do something about this–you’ll be a better writer for it (and, concurrently, the drug companies will have better balance sheets, which makes for prettier graphs, rendered beautifully in prescription pill colors such as sucked-you-in red and loser-you’re-hooked yellow, in their annual report, a tradition among business people, which is, sadly never read, as sleeping in broad daylight can be dangerous, particularly in skyscrapers, where business people tend to cocoon in and can, quite easily, after a bout of somnambulism, result in  people falling out of windows, which can be painful.

Oh, one other thing. Exercise your brain. And no I don’t mean to put it on a treadmill. That’s silly. Brains don’t have a means of locomotion (a brain might swim though, so there may be some benefit to dropping it into a bucket of water and letting it do some laps–flailing about trying the butterfly stroke, the dog paddle… whatever. ) No, I mean exercise the body, such as performing a galliard with cinque-pace leaps, in the hopes that some motes of oxygen produced during the exertion may actually reach your gelatinous brain and do wonderful things.

For more writing tips please consult an actual writing guide (which can, in a pinch, be used as a paperweight, or as fuel–if things ever get as bad as I predict they will.

Of course you could get a butterfly dog (to do the butterfly stroke) simply for the beauty of the thing. No special advice or grammar required here.

“There was a farmer who had a dog. And Bingo was his name”… an old ditty, and a brilliant writerly segue to this–


  1. Read the DSM 5? Surely you jest. That is the revised Bible of a religion I think I told you some time ago that I want no truck with. (Sorry for ending that sentence with a preposition…usually that faux pas is something up with which I will not put.)

    Anyway, the secret to being a writer is to be born a writer and then not let all the non-writers (conventional people who don’t understand, and especially mental health practitioners)stop you by convincing you that you are crazy, lazy, unsuccessful if not published, unsuccessful if not making money, unsuccessful and weird if you are not just like them.

    Oh, and to read a whole load of books by good writers (not those who give tips on how to write, but those who really write well.)

    Then too, it helps to have the love of a good dog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Then too, it helps to have the love of a good dog.” I know you know this–and it has made you the writer that you are.

      Liked by 2 people

    • This is the best advice for a writer I’ve come across yet (barring your own fine words above Prospero of coarse). People often forget or are ignorant of the dag part *nods*.

      I enjoyed the tale too sir. You have a knack (or two) for this 101 words malarkey. ” in flagrante delicto” – I used this very line myself in my last Fragment, it makes me think of the flamenco and eating ice cream and ins many ways I suppose that’s not too far from the actual definition. *smiles*

      – esme of Cloud fame.

      Liked by 2 people

      • A cloud is certainly the place for a flamenco dance and a Mister Softee ice cream.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the advise; I shall practice using it. The trouble with using underutilized forms of psychosis is that I have to change (I really do) my psychosis every day. It’s like underwear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I advice you to keep looking for different brands of psychosis, particularly from the more obscure merchants. And if you only comprehend garden-speak (as do I) think of, for instance, the blue amaryllis brand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Being a perfectionist, I call my Amaryllis “Hippeastrums” (blue or not!) and the Amaryllis themselves “Naked Ladies”.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your advide was very good, got me salivationing toward new prose creation, they spill, puddles of nonsense are everywhere, I was thinking how

    I want to go back to the beach, the 100 mile beach of my dreams. Me, my dog Sparky, and the ladies who chase behind me, barefoot ladies, naked ladies. A pack of gay men runs behind the ladies. They chase me as well, I am very popular. Finally, having run for 99 miles, and exhausted I roll in the surf – a kind of god, or commercial image. The ladies surround me and they play with the dog. You bloody women, I say. I am ravaged by gay men, all over again, nothing is perfect.

    Just popped into my head, must be the impending journey – Bordeaux, mmm…

    Thanks for you, Prospero.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Talking my own advice, I am working (butchering) on a submission of creative moment, awash in a suffusion of the Freudian hues I’ve come to associate with Brighton Beach. The requisite problem: if only I could break the three word a day barrier which is hampering my entry into the pantheon of modern commercial fiction writers. The three quotidian words are then edited to one good word, before that orphan is sent to another orphanage or murdered or ravaged in some way. Such is the task of writing. I hope I’m not shocking you, Mat.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ” I am ravaged by gay men, all over again, nothing is perfect.” – Hahahahaha.

      – esme being tickled by Matty (but no gay men) up to now)) upon the Cloud

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes Prospero I am appalled, have sent orphans in their shorts to man the stockade – if I can say that.

    Off now to think about pirates, and draft your black teeth and your whiskers.

    DO post something away, please – crikey, read a cowboy story yesterday on a forum, writer provided setting, language, ended on a dream. So, disappointed I chastised him, used stylish critique, flicked his Stetson. Shows how difficult it is. I like endings, always good to draft the end like a pro-writer [yawn].

    Mat [fizzles]

    Liked by 2 people

    • The story, about how all the words that begin with the letter ‘w’ came to be, will surely be deemed by some to lack conflict, ironclad logic, a cogent plot, empathetic characters, et cetera– but one only has to consider wedge and wonderful to know that inherent conflict does exist, and that attired in a pink safari hat (with a crop of black feathers nesting near the summit) ‘wedge’ is quite a character.

      Having already abandoned the idea will instead post random words (some comprehensible only to seafaring ears).

      Liked by 2 people

      • I did write a Prospero tribute piece, but, I will have to go look, I over-drafted, or couldn’t get the ending right, or decided it was a much bigger idea for a later on occasion, or changed all the jokes to worser jokes…afterwards suffered a writer slump – as I now too suffer – currently – trying to appear professional for this job interview, and googleproof, but fear my internet presence is too odd for farmer men jobs, they might discover the real me, not give me that job ‘kind of thing.’ It’ll be resolved in a day or two. I’ll find the old story for something do x

        Liked by 2 people

      • While harvesting the aphrodisiacal musk melon, it’s best not torment one’s co-workers with epistemic discussions on the validity of the internet . Get those roundlet jewels in the bag is my motto. I say this sort of thing when dehydrated and sun-scorched. Still, what a pleasure it is to work the land. And what great fellowship.

        My earliest thoughts in the morning are you-ignorant-bastards and the like. Also, it won’t do to use binomial nomenclature, as you’d think Latin is foreign to them. No. When referring to the hybrid between Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, it is best to resort to their level; even ba-na-na, a childproof appellation to be sure, should be referenced by pointing to the yellow phallic object and then grunting.

        But farming is a godsend as it fills the void created by one’s crumbling dream of literary fame. Move out of the way, you-ignominious-bloodsuckers, and so it goes: another day in the trenches.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Text edited and vastly improved on July 18, 2066 ( oh! how time flies–incidentally no dead metaphors are utilized in the rewrite, because no technically brilliant writer would ever do bad things ).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ghostbusters has had a reboot, and since I follow these things carefully, with avid delight, I decided to do the same with my advise [sic] to writers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to comment, I must comment! How can you think to only “write what you know” This is a faulty way of thinking! Stephen King wrote Carrie and well… do you think he knew about a menstruating teenager? No, I say write what you want to know about, learn along the way and tell the truth about your story.


    • Excellent advice (or is it advise–I’m never quite sure?) and distilled convincingly from masterful Stephen King’s oeuvre.

      Liked by 1 person

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