How to Quit Writing In How-To Format All the Goddam Time

How to Quit Writing In How-To Format All the Goddam Time

SPOILER ALERT: This post gives away important parts of the movie “Frozen.”

1. Have a brainstorm on some kind of social media platform about your little “problem” with being unable to write anything other than “How-To” lists. Don’t pish-posh any of the bad ideas – that’s not what brainstorms are about. If someone suggests, “Quit writing and join the service industry,” don’t take it personally.

2. Read a how-to book on home improvement or car maintenance, which will quickly shut you up by demonstrating how little you know about the really important things in life like how to replace an alternator or remove an ice dam.

3. Feel kind of sorry for yourself. Don’t wallow for too long, but you should mentally punish yourself for a little bit for being far less original than you thought you were. Worry that your friends refer to you as “That How-To Girl” behind your back.

4. Drink Cabin Still whiskey until you’re too plastered to write anything but garbled texts to your exes and your hairstylist.

5. Look into other formats, like “Odes to [Lesser-Known Body Part],” “How Many Boners is [Media Thing] Worth?” “[Blanks] that Don’t Exist But Should,” “I Gave Up My Dignity for [Blank,]” “Ten Hottest Things About [Blank,]” “Things I Already Forgot About [Recently Released Movie,]” “Your [Inanimate Object] Hates You and Here’s Why.”

6. Try transcribing one of your dreams. At best you will seem extremely creative and inspired. At worst you will seem like a psychopath, but at least an interesting one. You should probably use pseudonyms for the characters on the extreme off-hand chance that your second grade teacher discovers your blog and learns of your fantasy about having sex with him on an ice skating rink in Tallahassee.

7. Quit smoking. About 48 hours after you quit, try to write a post called “How to Quit Smoking.” Go ahead, just try it.

8. Make a rule that you can only write a how-to post as a reward after you read ten pages of Ulysses.

9. Pull the H key off your laptop and mail it to Albuquerque.

10. Re-enact the awful, stupid but traumatizing movie “Frozen” by getting stranded on a ski lift, peeing your pants, almost dying from frost bite and then falling only get “wolfed.”

Becky Lang, Sarah Heuer, Jay Gabler