How to become a world famous, fabulously successful writer (part 2)



When I got stuck trying to write papers for school, my teachers always told me to "just use your imagination."

People talk about an imagination, like it's a car. Just hop in, turn the key, and that baby'll start right up. Then you're headed down the road to fame and fortune.

I don't tell people to use their imaginations. Instead, I tell them to lie.

Lying has gotten a bad rap. Sure, people go to jail for lying, kids get suspended from school, and presidents -- well, never mind.

But lying is a good way to get your imagination in gear. Everyone knows how to lie, even 4-year-olds.

What's a lie? It's just a little story we tell someone to stay out of trouble or solve a problem. When you think about it, that's what storytelling is all about. And some of the best stories are about troubles and problems.

Go down to your local library, and you'll find that about half the books there are filed under something called fiction. What's fiction, but a bunch of lies all piled on top of one another until they make a good story. Why do you think they call it a lie-brary in the first place?*

So if you can't find your imagination, pretend you've got a problem that only a lie will help you solve. For instance, Megan calls and says she has an extra front row seat for a Nelly concert tonight. But you had promised your mom and dad that you'd baby-sit your bratty 6-year-old brother so they can have a romantic dinner out on their anniversary.

All you've got to do is come up with a story that'll convince your parents to stay home, so you can get out of the house. In other words, the situation calls for a lie. If you can't imagine one, then you're a space alien, not a kid.

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