I’m sorry if your heart broke today, but you just can’t say that.
Have you tried being more original?
If ten people fell in love today, then maybe you should try doing it tomorrow.
Have you ever thought about making your personal essay less personal?
Maybe you should dig a little deeper,
And if that isn’t unique enough, you should probably just lie.
Readers want to read things they can connect with,
But please don’t make them read something they’ve connected with before.
You have to tell them how they’re feeling before they even know that they’re feeling it.
But please make sure no one else has felt that way first.
Make sure you use interesting, unique language.
But take care to make it simple enough for your reader to understand.
You aren’t writing for you.
You’re writing for them.
But could you please make your writing a little more personal?
Have you ever tried feeling something unique?
Why be sad when you could be melancholy?
Your heart didn’t break, it was obliterated.
That sinking feeling in your chest? Maybe you should just call it quicksand.
Maybe if you string enough random words together, no one will realize that you don’t actually know what you’re talking about.
And maybe if you tell them that the sky is yellow and the grass is blue, you can be a revolutionary.
Try to convince them that depression is actually exhilarating,
And love is a lot less like how it is in the movies and more like being stuck in a corn maze in the middle of Illinois on a Tuesday in November.
Sounds refreshing, right?
Next, write a poem about grocery shopping,
But know that deep down, it’s really about your vagina.
Don’t you dare say what you actually want to though.
Hide it behind twenty-six irrelevant adjectives,
And a few nouns that couldn’t be any less related to what you’re writing about.
After all, it’s not about what you want to say, it’s about what the reader wants to read.
No one wants to hear your feminism.
Or the way you condemn the over-sexualization of the female body.
No, no, no, no.
Tell the reader how you want nothing more than to buy the finest loaf of bread your local grocery store has ever made,
But that you always put it back because you fear your palate isn’t sophisticated enough for it.
And that you just can’t handle something so prestigious.
Tell the reader how you almost bought that decadent triple-layer gelato, but you put it back for plain vanilla because you didn’t want to raise any eyebrows or cause an unnecessary commotion.
Write all about the split-second decision you always have to make between choosing the self-checkout and the regular checkout line.
Let them know how you have to assess what it is that you’re purchasing and who you’re purchasing it around before you can decide which route you should take.
Make sure they understand that even with an entire suburban oasis of decadence before you, you almost always have to settle for the plain and simple items that are just within your reach.
And I’m not even sure if you should get into bagging your groceries with them.
That could get to be a little too much.
A little too overdone.
Be gentle with your reader.
But also, make sure you really hit them where it hurts.
Make them weep and wish that they had never seen the words upon your page,
While also inspiring them to buy every copy of your book that they can find.
Confuse them so much that they have to keep reading your work, in hopes that one day, what you’re saying will actually make sense.
Make them feel stupid so that they never dare begin to write themselves.
Inspire them enough to promote your work, but not so much so that they want to become a writer just like you.
Remember, no one should ever be just like you.
Or feel the way that you feel.
You must feel things uniquely,
Or you are not allowed to feel at all.
Lose sight of the way your writing could help others grow,
And focus solely on it becoming incomprehensible art.
The type of work that makes people question everything, except for the cash in their wallet they will undoubtedly want to throw your way.
Remember, you are not writing to express yourself.
Or to connect with anyone who has ever felt the same way as you.
You are writing to be different.
You are writing to be the next “it” thing.
You are writing to create a world that has never been lived in before.
And you are planning to keep it that way.
Be the gatekeeper that tells other people to stop feeling what you’re feeling,
(But always take note of how they’re feeling, just in case you could utilize it later in your own work.)
Keep the tradition alive by pushing out the new,
And just recycling the same old bullshit.
Over and over and over again.
Remember, you can’t be sad anymore.
Your heart is not broken.
If you felt something that someone else has ever felt before, then I’m sorry, but you’ll have to change that fact.
Create a new persona for yourself.
A new set of feelings.
Today, I’m not sad. I’m a xylophone
My heart isn’t broken; it’s doing calculus.
I’m not having a bad day; I’m redecorating.
Craft a new language, and share it with no one.
But also make sure everyone understands it.
And try not to use too many metaphors because a lot of people before you have done that.
And we simply cannot have that.
Be everything and nothing all at once.
But also, forget that I said that because it’s been said before.
Instead of analyzing the deeper issue of why we are all so goddamn sad all of the time,
Just pretend it isn’t happening.
And call it something fun!
Because no one wants to read that you’re sad anymore.
That’s simply been overdone.