The Quick Start Guide to Your Writing Life

November 8, 2019 § 6 Comments

andrew-gudgelby Andrew Gudgel

Thank you for purchasing our product, which we hope will give you many years of use and satisfaction.

  1. Power up your Writing Life by pressing the button marked “Birth” and holding it for nine months.
  2. The “Childhood” screen should now appear. Adjust the sliders for “Precocious Scribbling,” “Teenage Angst,” “Voracious Reading,” and “Feeling Different From Everyone Else” to your desired levels. Remove the orange plastic cover from the vulnerability port and discard. Press continue when done.
  3. The “Genre” screen should appear next. Select one or more of the “Poetry,” “Translation,” “Fiction,” “Nonfiction,” “Hybrid,” or “What the hell is this thing?” check boxes. Press refresh to begin download of the appropriate skill libraries. This may take some time, especially over a slow connection. The optional modules “MFA,” “Workshop,” and “Writing Book” are available for purchase separately. See our website for details. Press continue when done.
  4. The “Obstacles” screen should appear next. Adjust the sliders for “Blind Ambition,” “Petty Jealousy,” “Crippling Self-doubt” and “Selfishness.” The levels should be set as low as possible, as these functions may cause your Writing Life to overheat and result in serious injury. Press continue when done.
  5. The “Essentials” screen should appear next. Be careful not to accidentally deselect the “Professionalism,” “Gratitude,” “Engaged Member of the Writing Community,” and “Pay it Forward” check boxes. Press continue when done.
  6. The “Success” screen should appear last. Feel free to play with the slider, because you can’t actually control the level of this function. Press continue when done.

Congratulations! Your Writing Life should now be up and running. Keep it away from acids, abrasives, harsh chemicals, direct sunlight, too much alcohol or drugs. Occasional tears are a normal part of Writing Life operation and may be wiped away with a soft, dry cloth.
Andrew Gudgel is a freelance writer and translator living in Maryland. His fiction, nonfiction, translations and poetry have appeared in Under the SunLily Poetry Review, Southeast Missouri State University’s Proud to Be anthology, Western Michigan University’s journal Transference, and other publications. He’s a graduate of both Johns Hopkins University’s Science Writing program and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Find him at


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