It's been two years since I've been entertaining (or annoying) you, my faithful PIC readers and fans. Instead of blabbing about my favorite memories like this is a sorority instead of a website, I'm going to put down the most comprehensive writing guide I've ever, um, written. Just for you kids. Because I care. About stuff. And the further endowment of wisdom to the youth. And writing really unnecessarily short, run-on sentences. Over and over. Again. Because that's what writers (like me) do.

So here's my guide to writing:

Don't become an English major.

KC with two PIC business cardsYou'll spend a lot of time reading and pretending you like T.S. Eliot, while your professors would rather read their own poetry to you in class than teach you skills. Then, when you're done with school, you're completely worthless in the job market. Unless you want to teach. I know, you think you're going to be a high-paid, ultra-famous writer like me, but, chances are, you're going to be waiting tables for a long time. And being a waiter sucks. Trust me.

Write every day.

I don't do this, but you should. Sometimes I write twenty pages in a day. Other days, I just get a page down. Unfortunately for you and me, there are times I don't put anything on paper. But get in the habit of writing every day. It does wonders for you.

Take a journalism class, or just work in the business.

Granted, if you can find an operating newspaper that's hiring, please tell me about it. I really need health benefits (I smash myself on a lot of things). You'll learn to write on deadline, write about crap you don't care about, but most importantly you'll be writing. And once you see your name in print, that's a feeling you can't describe. Okay, I'll try to explain. Viewing your own byline feels good, but incredibly terrifying.

Put yourself, and your work out there.

Contrary to popular belief I don't walk around talking to my Junk and bedding countless women. But, my secret writing identity does.Like I said, there's something magical about connecting your name with something you've written and then having other people see your work. Then, the anxiety starts. Did you spell everything write? How about facts? What if you suck? Or, you could be brilliant! You never know. And that's the beauty of writing.

Experiment. Just not with drugs. All the time.

When I wrote "My Organs and I Go on a Date," what initially found its way onto my computer screen was the biggest piece of shit ever written. I wanted to write something about how first dates are always weird. But I fudged up my original plan. Then I failed again and again. Finally, I just typed up something I thought was total horseshit and thought I wasted a bunch of great jokes. I submitted it to Court with a headline that said, "Please don't fire me over this. It's either brilliant or the biggest piece of horseshit ever written." That piece of horseshit became the column and eventually the series that made me a household name all over the world. Seriously. (Well, not about the household name part, but I do get fan mail from folks all over the planet.) The point is, try something new and you might find something great comes out of it.

If you can actually work while "experimenting" with drugs, go for it.

I can't, so I don't. However, the great Hunter S. Thompson said, "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

Don't feel feelings.

Don't get mad when people trash your work. Use it as an incentive to write better stuff. Hopefully, you'll get more positive reactions than bad. Then, when somebody compliments your work, it will be that much better.

As long as people are reading, watching, or looking at your stuff, you're succeeding.

Most of the human population hasn't read Harry Potter, so don't feel bad that people, your friends, family and enemies aren't reading your stuff. Just be happy that some people are.

Be like DeGraaf.

Remember quotes, conversations, and even talk to people. You never know what gems you'll find in your daily life.

Be like me.

Invest in Post-It notes and keep them everywhere. Text message yourself or leave voicemail on your own account. Write down ideas, quotes and whatever you can. Nothing sucks more than an idea, joke or quote that you just can't remember.

Be nice to your fans.

I'm from the school of Sex Pistols, WWF wrestlers and Slipknot. I appreciate my fans, but also, they sometimes find themselves my biggest target. But when I make fun of somebody, usually it's my most sincere way to show my affection. I do my best to respond to anybody who takes their time to email me. Some of my readers send me amazing gifts. Others just say nice things. They don't do that to semi-popular investment bankers.

Read everything.

When I tried to be a comic book writer, a published guy (Evan Dorkin) told me this. He told me not to read only about superheroes, but anything I could get my hands on. I read biographies, fiction, the news, travel writing, song lyrics, blogs, and all kinds of shit. Except poetry. I just don't like that.

Write everything like a poem.

Don't waste space. Make every word, sentence, and punctuation mark matter.

Write what you want to read (if you can), or at least try.

This goes back to experimenting.

Sleep on it.

My rule of thumb is to write a piece and then wait a day before letting anybody else see it. Sometimes, I read my stuff and laugh. Sometimes, I'm horrified by how crappy I wrote. That moment away from the piece generally gives you time to figure out the next step.

Save your work.

I don't delete anything I write. But sometimes I forget to save and my computer erases everything for me. Rebuilding is a pain in the ass.

Find your niche.

Apparently mine is boner jokes. But I never intended to write them. I was just bored at work and one day I decided to try my luck at humor.

Screw up badly.

Everybody needs a good kick in the ass every once in a while. I've received my fair share of them. If you put yourself out there, you'll suck eventually. Even Jason Statham makes a bad movie here and there.

Write crap.

One book about writing advises to write crap—maybe Bird By Bird. You're going to write crap. Everybody does. Again, the point is to write. Who cares if it's crap? Well, besides the suckers who read it? You may find a nice corn kernel of goodness in that huge pile of crap you've written.

Create a writing persona.

You're probably a boring person in real life. I know I am. Yes, contrary to popular belief, I don't walk around talking to my Junk, drinking buckets of Jameson, and bedding countless women of all ages. But, my secret writing identity does.

Walk.

I like taking walks and seeing where my mind and route take me. Sometimes you can see a poster in a shop's wall that sparks something. Other times a homeless man will give you a great story. Or stabs you. Either or, it's an experience.

Be a whore.

Take any and every writing job that comes your way. And sleep around, hopefully with me (if you're a female).

Don't quit.

The people who always say "wise up" are usually stupid.

Remember.

You're the best!

kc


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