Okay, now that you've found a book that gives you status and (maybe) read it, you're ready to pledge your unyielding allegiance to it. Look at the book and slowly repeat the statement "I will defend this book beyond reason and common sense." Someone talking trash about your book is an insult to you personally. That book is now part of you, so if anyone is making fun of it, they are also making fun of you or that mole on your back with the hair. You have to do anything to defend the book written before you were born by a person who died never knowing you or your family or your tiny suburb because, deep down, you are connected to it. You and the two dollar paperback you bought at a used book store are forever linked. Soul and acid-free parchment connect to make one being. If someone disagrees with your opinion, you know they are wrong. No, you haven't read their book, but you know it sucks because it isn't yours. All you need to know is that of the ten or so books you've flipped through, you have found the best example of literature. Ever. Basically, the book is like your turf, and you're a gang member, except instead of a shiv or a few rounds from an uzi, you strike back with a few nuh-uhs, fingers in your ears, and then a few passive aggressive paragraphs on your blog.

This is an obtainable look for you.C. Mimic the author. Okay, so you found a great book, but what does that have to do with your writing? Everything. You need to copy his prose style and plot style. You also have to copy his real-life style. Find pictures, do research, stalk his family and estate until you can effectively be him. No separation is too far for you to bridge. If he loved three piece suits, you need to go shopping. Dress is extremely important. When your favorite author walked down the street, you can bet your food stamps that people knew right away that he was a writer. You also need to experience the same life as your author to truly grasp and copy everything about him. Did he own a southern plantation? Better round up some cheap labor. If your author spent the majority of his life in the trenches of WWI looking through the bottom of the bottle then you better become an alcoholic and head to Verdun to be a doughboy. But simply mimicking their life style isn't enough. You have to try and imitate their biological disposition too. If the guy went blind because of a genetic disease, then get a spoon and pop one of yours out. Shoot yourself up with insulin twice a day if he was a diabetic, heroine if he was an addict. Everything can be evened out. The author of the best book in the world is obviously the best writer in the world, so by mimicking him, you, in turn, are the best writer in the world, right?

D. Combine. You know the best book in the world and you just so happen to be exactly like the best author in the world and you are a writer. You have obviously unlocked a deep mysterious secret, and you need to do your best to show it to the world. All the people are sheep, so you have to open their eyes. The best way is to follow this simple formula: A(B+C). I know you're bad with math, so let me explain. You need to inform them about point B and C while authenticating your statement with A. B and C are ways of improving one's life, and A is to show that you are an expert. Maybe that isn't clear. Here's a hypothetical situation: A man is choking on a five dollar foot long at a Subway, and you are the only person around. You straddle his quivering, blue body, politely doff your top hat, and tell him that Fitzgerald believed that true sorrow belonged to the upper class. Boom. Now, if the man wants to truly suffer in his suffocation, he should read Tender is the Night and ordered an Italian BMT or something of equal value.

So there you go. Follow these steps and you can follow your dreams, and, since I'm a writer, you know you can trust me.

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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