Rules for Becoming a Popular Writer

Communicated by Miss Flaxman

Hasten to some great capital, see, hear, imbibe all that presents itself to you, and be inspired.

Then pour forth the visions which thou wilt behold in one stream upon they paper. Should they be strange, perplexed, and monstrous, so much the better for thee. Change nothing, polish nothing, complete nothing. Thy work must absolutely proceed from nothing, and lead to nothing. Then seek in some dictionary for twenty extravagant words; write those words on twenty slips of paper, and let a child draw one of them by chance. Set the word drawn at the head of thy work and if thou place two such words at the front of thy production, the issue will be still more secure.

But both titles must have no reference to each other nor to thy work. Bring forth thy book on a sudden and thou wilt be astonished at the astonishment of the public. “Oh how divine a man!” the ladies will cry. “There is no knowing what he aims at — it turns one quite giddy to follow him — and then it is written so strangely that no common man is able to read it aloud!” The men will exclaim too, “This is a genuine masterpiece, pure luxuriant, in artificial nature — no end, no design, no whole — we may as much read it backwards as forwards!”