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July 14, 2008 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

How to Become the Best World in the Writer

So you want to write some articles or a book, or a house, or whatever. The first thing you need is some ideas, right? But oh no! You don’t have any!

As well as ideas, you want good reviews, don’t you? Not silly, arty – farty, ambiguous reviews like “Magnificent, compelling” – that is such a crap review. You don’t want this one either: “A must – read for anyone in the field of hyperterrestrial ornithology” – no, you want tyre-burning flame-spitting ultimate shirt-ripping damsel-saving overdosing passionate reviews. You want a review that would give a great white indigestion. And by ‘great white’ I mean your big fat English teacher, who didn’t seem to understand that you could already speak English.

You want your book to be super famous and have people discussing it and arguing about it for centuries later, you want it to sell billions of copies, because, hey, let’s face it, you don’t want to have a real job to support yourself, those things are boring, man, and if you make enough hundreds of millions of dollars you might just be able to pay back the Gestapo – oops I mean Studylink one day.
Seig Heil! Seig Heil!

No, you want reviews like “This book made me want to blow up a toilet and shoot dried cowpats out of a tank at an old folks home” and “This book made me want to urinate off the roof of the Majestic Centre.”

These two are especially good reviews. Incidentally, when I first showed this column to Tristan, our valiant, heroic editor here at Salient, he sprinted up to the roof of our four story office and urinated right on some first years, who looked like they were used to it. (I think one of them even opened his mouth a bit as if he liked it.)


The corner. Always the corner. Through a fence is funny too.


But to get reviews like these you need some ideas, man, and not that silly politically correct crap that dominates the best – seller lists worldwide. No, you need to be true to your heart, gutsy, brave, a fearless literary warrior, like King Arthur, when he pulled his mighty space bar out of the stone, imbued with his sacred typewriter of redemption and purification. But you also need energy and some cosmic stuff going on, like out of space stuff, imagination. So when do people get their best ideas and remain true to themselves? . . . When they’re drunk, of course!

You know those rare times where you go to a party and before the party is in full swing and everyone is sober and hasn’t loosened up because they’re nervous about all the people they don’t know and they don’t want to say hi to anyone or make eye contact? And then one really drunk person comes along and makes a dick of themselves by saying what everyone is thinking? And doing really funny cool stuff like telling the well dressed people in suits how much they’d hate to have an office job? Well, to be a really top of the line writer – and you can trust me, I write for Salient – you need to be like the drunkest person at the party . As a dedicated writer, I am always trying to keep the delicate balance between passing out and being drunk enough to get great ideas, and it’s hard, I tell you, hard, this is why arty – farties say that writing is a difficult labour of love, especially when these buttons on the old commodore 64 are jumping around everywhere and my fingers are going boing boing on this and that and weeeeeeeeeee . . . . weeeeeeeee. . . . . weeeeeeeeeeee . . . . .g¨Ô˝ÎˇÁ¨˝¨‡¨ ‰ÇÏ˝◊Óıaaaaaaarrrrrrggggg hhhhhh

But nevertheless, I perservere, that one day my great book about the cybernetic orphan goat of Holy Mountain who is the chosen one, who built his own time travel spaceship out of Tui bottles and chewdiuwbing gum, and made his own flux capacitor out of stuff he nicked from the Physics lab when Dr. Pearce wasn’t looking, then went through a black hole vortexism to save the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and he ‡°´jzÎ kissed one of them and it was romantic not just purely physical, after he saved them from the Legion of Doom Robots and swung over a chasm on a vine like Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone while he held his woman close, so close, but roughly, like how she needed to be held, aeby a man, by a real man, whose love knew no bounds of mortality, and they looked into each others eyes for a split second just before they landed on the other side of the chasm and she called out to him, and he told her to hurry up dammit, and they only JUST made it to the sci-ficonvention where he had a loud, ranting argument with some LOSER who thought that Lando Calrissian is a better pilot of the Millenium Falcon than Han Solo which he totally isn’t, I mean this loser probably thinks that Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk, encyclopaediation for the masses to hungry, nyeh nyeh law student comfort couch cuddle cusp fry up spaghetti omelettes with a fried marmite beer jellyfish McDonalds sundae egg on top and thermodore eggrovettes and a fried egg on top and spam –

SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM, SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM, wonderful spaaaam, lovely spaaaam, wonderful spaaaam,

ha ha, we sure love our Monty Python when we’ve had a few beers. So getting the balance here is very important, and in all drunken sincere seriousness – just pretend I’m leaning my whole body weight on your shoulder breathing right into your face and burping; telling you that there’s so many hot people at this party, but they’re probably all way too cool for me, I’m rough round the edges you know, I’m not a mainstream person, and shaking your hand and going “so are we cool?” again and again and again and asking you your name and saying sorry for being drunk and then shaking your hand again and again and asking you if I shook your hand yet and getting your name wrong and saying that you probably don’t like drunk idiots like me coming up to you, and I’ve actually forgotten what I was talking about after the last time I got your name wrong, but whatever the hell I was talking about, I WAS – RIGHT – AND THE OTHER PERSON WAS – WRONG – AND THAT’S THE – END – OF THE DISCUSSION –

I’ll start that paragraph again. You see what I mean about balance, though, right? This drinking is a technique that serious writers like Stephen King and John Grisham use heaps and very well. Seriously, when I met Stephen King, he was so drunk it looked like there was two of him. He was wasted man. We had a great time, all three of us.

It isn’t very well known and it might be a bit controversial and hard to admit for the Buddhists out there, but when Mohammed wrote the Bible, he was gone, dude. I mean, there’s an old man watching us all, and he made the world and the universe and everything , and this other dude died for everyone in the world, even the people that haven’t been born, and there was this massive flood and . . . and . . . wow, man, I MEAN

THAT IS JUST COSMIC MAN. That is some HEAVY WRITING, MAN. That is like brain overload for an english teacher. They can’t even get the big X-ing red pen up on the page.

You don’t come up with that stuff on two minute noodles, man, you need some beer.

Then there is the question of equipment. Which one is better? A typewriter or a Commodore 64? Firstly, don’t use windows microsoft word, even for spell check. You should use a dictionary, or someone with glasses.

The reason that you should not use microsoft word is that it is owned by Bill Gates, who is a reptilian conspiracy theorist from Atlantis and he has already bought off God (expensive but worth it). He also owns Studylink. It’s true, I read it on So it must be true.

And then you need proof of your earnings before you go filing a Studylink application, and no, it doesn’t matter if you have a job or not, they just need proof of earnings, which you must get to them today at the latest, even though you didn’t get home to read this stupid letter till half past five and they’re closed, and what sucks the most – what totally XXXXing sucks Adolf Hitlers dirty Nazi bunghole through a KFC straw is that the person who serves you the next day is real nice, and you get all these drunk delusions of twin souls and marriage and you want to ask them out, so you have another swig from your hip flask to get your courage up, and they throw you out of there, they won’t even let you crash on the couch, so you just pass out on the street.

This is the tragic, and yet romantic life of the modern writer.

Oh yeah, Bill Gates is also a cyber nerdlinger, so even a weeny coffee-addled writer like you could beat him up (he’d sure have a lot of lunch money).


So get drunk, and start to write. You might as well you munter, you’ve got no mates to hang out with. Have a go, with the techniques I have described here. You can put your faith in these, trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I have slept through countless hours of writing workshops. I even attended some of them. I persevered even though the chairs were stiff and my back hurt. Some of them didn’t even have coffee and cookies. I also went to a couple of Writ 101 lectures, sometimes staying awake for an entire minute before I passed out – just call me the mantis. Maybe I should italicize and capitalize mantis, and put it in size 14 font, like this:

just call me . . . THE MANTIS……”””!!!!!! Then you do this . . .

\ Ti /μ /\ MANTASSSSS . . -, //

You’ve got to admit that is pretty cool, yeah? It looks like a jet, or a rocket car! Or a jet car rocket! Or maybe even a rocket car jet! I reckon that just looks “magnificent, compelling.” You see, in writing, it’s the little things that count. Don’t forget variety and variety of variable variants, ay man. Keep it professional.

“Dear Dominion Post” You should write. “I am a poor depressed student with no money or social skills, I didn’t even pass Stat 193 because I can never remember what P hat is. Is it a variable, or a constant? Publish my science article I just made up or I’ll write a book. I can’t even write, actually, I just beat up Stephen Hawking and swiped his cool machiney – voicey thing and made it simulate sex with my commodore 64 –


Yay. Me know physics. This sort of thing is great writing.

If you can consistently write decent, full-of-facts articles of this calibre you will be un-unhireable by ennywunn, jarst kepe yore $pellinge an g”rand%ma perrf; ‘ikt .


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  1. Trent Burgess says:


  2. Michael Oliver says:

    I’m convinced Guy Armstrong is an avant garde artist who writes articles for his own personal amusement.

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