Magazine | 1:17 am | October 31, 2011 | By Lauren Oyler

Top Ten Things I’ve Begrudgingly Learned about Writing

Despite being a genius writer, earning such prestigious accolades as “decent” and “could be OK if she’d stop using the same word eight times in one paragraph,” I’ve managed to learn a few things about “the craft” this semester. Although I hate to admit that anyone besides me has any knowledge on any topic, I concede that both my professors and – sigh – my peers have taught me good stuff.

  1. It’s OK to make fun of people in your writing as long as you make fun of yourself, too. Bonus points if you make fun of yourself for acting like a pretentious Ivy Leaguedouchebag.
  2. Tendency towards procrastination does not have an entry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. I will, supposedly, grow out of it someday.
  3. You can’t just write an essay that says it was really cold outside the other day. No one cares.
  4. Repeating the word “cool” fifteen times in a 1,000-word essay is not funny or ironic.
  5. Transitions usually sound stupid.
  6. Journalists have a lot of cool slang that doesn’t make sense, like “TK,” which means “to come,” and “deadline,” which means “time when you become inexplicably very sick.”
  7. Don’t go to graduate school if you want to be a good writer. All right, fine, quittwisting my arm.
  8. Canadian people add “…right?” to the end of their sentences to make you agree with them. Don’t trust this.
  9. That edgy, creative device you use when you’re like “I’m going to delete this conjunction from this series! I’m so alternative!” is called an “asyndeton.”
  10. Never use a colon in a title, unless you want to sound like a pretentious Ivy League douchebag.

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