This morning I sat down at my office computer (foul fucker that it is) and booted it back to consciosness, but when I slapped Munkrosloth Word into a waking state it spat out the recovered text of my long entry! It did! Should I post if for you here? I may not. It was pretty silly, and the last paragraph goes on about poop a bit much. Ah whatever:
In order to break into the lucrative world of self-help literature, you first have to write a self-help book. Even with lots of graphics and charts and pictures of ladies you still need to write some helpful words in there. For a long time I knew that this was my major barrier to break through, my great obstacle to overcome, my stumbling block to use as a stepping stone. Once over that hump, I would receive all the good fortune due to me, with book tours, lecture engagements, furtive trysts and the opportunity to use the honorific that my time in academia has granted me (“Mr.”). I’ve figured out how to write that block-busting self-help book, and I’ve figured out how to help you write one too and become as famous and wealthy as I soon will be. As soon as I’ve written the self-help book that I’m about to advise you on.
The first obstacle to overcome is the perception that people are beyond help, and that if they're browsing the self-help section, then they're dangling from the gallows and not just mounting the steps as they think. Above all, discard the notion that genuine literature performs the function that self-help books pretend to, that the sum of your empathy, joy and spiritual amplitude will be enhanced by Henry Miller or Toni Morrison. That is of absolutely no use to you. Honest pleasure derived from the leisurely activity of reading is not what we call hard work. And if it’s not hard work, or if it isn’t a collection of lazy platitudes that pretends to the status of hard work, it’s clearly no good.
The second obstacle lies in your innate respect for your fellow human being. Ditch it at once. If you respect your reader, then you will resist the urge to boss them around like a schiavonic child, and your reader will look helplessly at your grinning photo for a clue. Bully your readers along the path you want them to stumble down, but bully them gently, as if you wielded a down pillow spiced up with doorknobs. Mm. That’s a spicy doorknob.
Much work has been performed lately on the syllable. In the ecology of self-help lit, the syllable is the natural predator of sales. They're permissible when you need a few inflated meaning-free terms, but otherwise they are to be avoided. They will attach themselves to your wallet and suck the ink off the bills and the strip from your credit card. The problem is that you can't have words without syllables. Each word must contain at least one, so try to keep your words down to one syllable whenever possible. Words like “idea” are particularly nasty, packing three syllables into four letters. Such economy is your enemy. Also, remember that metaphor, which stretches across categories and stimulates creative thinking, deforms easily to analogy, so always try to make up fanciful analogies designed to make people feel better about themselves. I’ve provided a sample to help you out:
There are times when your friend, a friend that we will call Bob, will come up to you with a sharp stick – not a real stick but a stick of negativity and anger and bad feelings. It’s your job to point out to your friend that he’s got a sharp stick in front of him. And it’s not just any sharp stick - this stick is covered in poop, and Bob is waving it around in front of your face, and you have to duck and back up and try not to get scratched or get any poop on your face. Because who wants that? Not you, that's for sure. So why does it seem that Bob has always got that sharp poopy stick, and you're always scratched up with poop on your face? I'll tell you why: when Bob waves that stick, you say "Hey Bob! Stop with the sharp poop stick!" And then he scratches you up and you end up smelling bad.
Bob, bless his heart, feels bad about his sharp poop stick. He feels so bad that he pretends that his stick isn't there. It's true! So when you point it out, it makes Bob feel even worse. And you know what goes down when Bob feels bad. So next time, don't tell Bob to put away his stick - give him a napkin! Say: "Bob, I think you could use this napkin," and hold it out with a smile on your face. Don't be shocked when Bob smiles back at you, takes the napkin and wipes his stick clean! And then he may just throw that stick on the ground and go so far as to give you a hug. See? Bob's not a bad guy - he's just needs to feel that you're not pointing out his poop stick.
It's that easy. Two hundred pages of that and you're set for life.