How to become a world famous, fabulously successful writer (part 1)

First of five parts

Parents lie.

You know that by now, don't you?

They told you that your medicine tasted good, that your vaccination shot wouldn't hurt and now you're just beginning to discover that they've laid another fat one on you. Each parent tells this lie in a different way, but it goes something like this:

You can become anything you want to be so long as you work hard and never give up your dream.

Anything? Forget it. No matter how hard you try, no matter how long you keep at it, the odds against your becoming the starting quarterback for the Rams are approximately 10 quadrillion-zillion to 1.

So it's not in the cards for you, Joe. Nor for you, Alonzo. And it's going to be even slightly more difficult for you, Jennifer.

That's not to say you shouldn't play football - even if you are a girl - or dream of being a sports hero. But consider some possibilities that aren't nearly so remote.

You can be a writer.

The odds already are in your favor. It's darn near a slam dunk once you've read this series of stories.

To see if you've got the write stuff, take this simple test.

I can carry on a conversation.

Yes No

I can read.

Yes No

I can write a simple sentence, like this one.

Yes No

If you've answered yes to all of the above, you are qualified to begin.

Now some people are what we call "born" writers. To see if you're one of those take the following test.

1. Harry Potter is:

a. A starting fullback for the Oakland Raiders.

B. The dad in "7th Heaven."

C. One of the Backstreet Boys.

D. A character in a novel who has magic powers.

2. You have started a journal. In fact, you've started several journals. You may never have finished one, but that's not important.

Yes No

3. When the teacher asks for volunteers to read their stuff in class, you secretly hope she'll call on you.

Yes No

4. You lead a rich fantasy life.

Yes No

5. Math, you've decided, may not be your thing.

Yes No

--If you answered D to the first question, and yes to a at least one or two others, then you've got what it takes. All you have to do is get started.

This series is available in booklet form for your personal use or in the classroom. Click here to order.