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By Saguaro 

You there! Yes, you! Have you ever wanted to write an article for the world-renowned, top-of-the-line, free speech magazine, Binghamton Review? If so, I’ll give you some great advice on how to go about writing one. First, show up to a meeting and say that you will write an article. This will state your intentions to write, as well as provide you with people to reach out to in case you need help. 

Next, when preparing to write an article, I find it best to think of a topic. It can be very difficult to find one that you want to write about, and can write about for the required length. This article was supposed to be written yesterday, but I had no clue as to what I was going to write about, which brings me to my next problem. I am, of course, exaggerating this as a problem, since it’s something that I don’t think happens to many, and only happens to me when I write articles for this specific publication. I’m not a creative writer. I can write sometimes, so when I do, and when it’s without any specific direction to take, I’ll flounder about for a third of the time to simply think about a topic that I know I can write about for the required length. This can be tough because I have some really good ideas, but I can never find a way to elongate them into full articles. One of these that I wanted to write was a satirical news article covering the power vacuum left in Margaritaville after the death of Jimmy Buffet. Feel free to write this if you want to. 

The next problem I run into is timing. I am a very momentum-based writer, so I tend to work best when I have a bit of time to continuously write with minimal distraction. This doesn’t work with my schedule however, which leads me to try and shove in small bits of writing here and there. I struggle with this, and it leads me to endless 20 minute patterns of starting to write, getting into it, and then suddenly needing to get up and do something else, breaking the momentum, leaving me with 12 words written down. Of course, to counteract this, you could block out set amounts of time to write, and ensure that you have minimal distractions during that time. Maybe use a typewriter rather than a laptop to keep yourself from looking at Twitter. 

After you’ve taken the time to think up that excellent idea for an article and blocked out some time to write down your magnum opus, the next challenge in your path is procrastination. Everyone has things come up (I know that very well), so you can always put off writing for a day, but don’t put it on the back burner for too long, else you’ll be stuck writing to make a deadline. If you ever have the chance to write things in advance, do it. If you have the patience to sit down and get the ball rolling well-ahead of the due date, I envy you, because the rest of us never manage to get more than 200 words down. This is where I’d add in one final joke about putting this off until tomorrow, but I can’t do that, I need to finish this article. 

Once you’ve worked past procrastination, and got yourself some time to sit down and work, now comes the last challenge, writing down enough words to constitute an article. This really is the last hurdle to get across for writing, since you can get some other chump to do most of the editing, and after that, you’re home free. Of course, this doesn’t mean writing the article is easy; it tends to be where you realize what you’ve done wrong here, that you are too busy this week, and that committing to writing an article was a bad idea and something you should never do again. You might just realize that you don’t know enough about your topic, or you put this off and can’t finish the article in time.(I have done this. This was supposed to be in the last release, but I put it off for too long and it needed some more time in the oven before I wanted other people to see it. There is nothing wrong with that.) While you’re working, you may realize you need just a bit more on the page before you send it in, and here you can use the extremely useful technique of padding. A bullshit sentence here, reiterate something there, even write-in bad jokes if you think of them. Alternatively, you could channel your inner Charles Dickens and make things so extremely wordy that it becomes obnoxious to read sometimes. 

All in all, if you want to write an article, good luck.

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