First of all, you can’t. If you opened this article because you thought anyone could teach you that, I’ve got an accidental overpayment to send you on Venmo for something you didn’t know you were selling. I’ll trust you to refund me the excess $400 as soon as you get the transfer.
So you’ll have to forgive me the title, but when it’s been such a Rothfussian gap of time since you’ve written that people are spreading rumors about you* and you don’t know where to start, sometimes you need a clickbait title. Then – assuming you have standards** – you’ll feel guilty enough to actually write something longer than a paragraph to go with it.
That doesn’t mean you should give up all hope of satisfaction. You can’t write your way back into your college jeans. You can’t even get back into your pre-pandemic jeans. But you can start writing again.
Just follow these helpful, easy-to-remember steps.
2. Solve the daily Wordle. It’s warm-up stretches for the mind.
3. Weigh the consequences of writing about the darkest battles of your soul, wrestling with addiction and denial and the inevitability of death. Consider addressing all those shortcomings you’ve been avoiding all your adult life, your cringiest online dating catastrophes. Maybe you can finally tackle that miasma of depression that weighed you down for so long like a heavy blanket that made you sleepy, so sleepy, but not in a warm and cozy way.
4. Check in on Pokemon Go, because your buddy’s not going evolve himself.
The writer hard at work.
5. After you make a startling typo, devote a good five or six minutes to coming up with this: “What would you name a country where every citizen is indifferent to just about anything? The Meh-therlands.” (No offense to the Netherlands, whom I congratulate on the World Cup Round of 16 victory against the US; I would rather lose to the Dutch than, say, Qatar or Mexico.***)
6. Doomscroll through the dying embers of Twitter, because Twitter. And because you’re sure the Aaron Judge signing/non-signing will be happening at any moment but only if you constantly refresh your feed.
7. Develop a new definition of justice in an effort to create a clever philosophy of life. Justice is when the thing you expect to happen does happen. Plan a whole blog entry about that.
8. Decide to write it later. Which reminds you to look into therapy to get over procrastination.
9. Wouldn’t an anti-procrastination therapy be a worthwhile topic for a blog?
11. Not right now, at least.
12. Decide 1000 words is arbitrary and you don’t need really that many.
13. Make a list. Everyone likes reading lists on the Internet. Lists are sexy. Lists are professional.
14. Add a photo of Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd is sexy. Paul Rudd implies there might be a multiverse in which your blog entry is outstanding. Plus, a picture is worth 1000 words, so you made your word count after all.
15. Stop. You’re done! Maybe you didn’t lose any literal weight, but at least you’re writing again and that’s a weight off your mind.
*Not that there are rumors about me, but I figure if I start the rumor there are rumors about me, that will convey a certain cachet.
**I do have standards, but it’s been so long since I’ve published that I’ve forgotten where I put them.
***What do I have against Qatar? Not much, other than the fact they bribed their way to a World Cup and then tried to impose their own theocratic ideas on attendees even while accepting the tourist dollars. As to Mexico, well, I haven’t forgotten the 2002 World Cup when El Tried to win with a bit of rough play and red-cardery.