All right, listen up everyone! May I have your full attention please? … Okay, that’s good enough.

What we have here is an exercise in public self-humiliation!

Uneasy silence.

Yes, I said, an exercise in public self-humiliation. Now, if we’re on the same page, you’ll realize that this won’t be inspirational. This isn’t one of those movies where the team that’s down-on-its-luck gets a new coach who inspires them to dream of winning the championship trophy. No, this is something far worse … This is a boot camp! So leave those flowery inspirational quotes at the door. You are here because you’re too lazy to get off your ass and do something!

More silence.

You’re here because you’re all failures! And you are failures because you keep waiting for tomorrow! You there, at the back, will you stop crying? This is boot camp! I don’t expect to see any tears welling up in your eyes or hear any sniffles coming from you lot … especially sniffles! While you’re here, I expect to follow these simple rules:

  1. You will not complain or give excuses.
  2. There is no time like the present.

This is a war and I’m preparing you for the many battles that lie ahead. I’m not here to make you smile or to wipe those tears off your face! You at the back, didn’t I warn you about crying? As I was saying, we’re fighting a war here, one that needs people tougher than hard boiled eggs. Our war is against the blank page. Neil Gaiman put it like this:

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”

That’s our war right there. The only difference is we’re NOT allowed to lose! I expect to see words singing and dancing on the page, I expect to see a blog with a post published every week, I expect to see you running the Daily Post treadmill and publishing posts like there’s no tomorrow (remember Rule 2?), I expect to see you chasing after your words with more than a club … I want to see you go after those words with heavy artillery!

There are no beds here because we don’t want dreamers! We want writers! The only bed you’ll find in this facility, is mine! You will sit in that chair and write till your butt starts to develop roots! I don’t care if your favorite show is on TV! I don’t care that you’re too busy and have a lot going on in your life! … You WILL make the time!

Fingernails scraping against the door.

No retreat! No surrender! Take no prisoners! Write until your very soul oozes out on each page, write until your fingers spasm uncontrollably, write until you have nothing else to write about … then you will write some more about the secret extraordinary lives of garden variety slugs!

Oh, and one more thing, until this boot camp is over, you will now refer to each other as cock-a-roaches! Got it? I want you tell yourself this every day when you wake up, and every night before you go to sleep: I am but a tiny sniveling cock-a-roach. No one cares about what you write, so write it anyway!

Now, drop and gimme 500 you sniveling cock-a-roaches!

One … Two … 

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