This isn’t a perfect text of Lorrie Moore’s “How to Become a Writer,” but it certainly is enough to peak the interest of any writer new to Moore’s work. It’s a short short story from her collection Self Help, and it’s written in second person with loads of quirky advice and a healthy heaping of absurdity:
Quit classes. Quit jobs. Cash in old savings bonds. Now you have time like warts on your hands. Slowly copy all of your friends’ addresses into a new address book.
Vacuum. Chew cough drops. Keep a folder full of fragments.
An eyelid darkening sideways.
World as conspiracy.
Possible plot? A woman gets on a bus.
Suppose you threw a love affair and nobody came.
An interview follows the story.