Hitting the Plateau

December 10th, 2016
Image Credit: http://araugustyn.com/overcoming-writers-block/

Image Credit: http://araugustyn.com/overcoming-writers-block/

For the first few days or weeks, your novel will seem easy. You’ve settled into a style, you’re inspired by everything around you, you’re writing your favorite chunks of the plot. But then disaster will strike. You know that you have to link two sections of your novel, but the effort of thinking about it, much less sitting down to write it, is too much. Plus, every time you sit down to write, you can’t get into the rhythm of your style, and everything you produce feels trite and insufficient. It will not be fun.

At this point, many people give up on their novels (see myunfinishednovel.com). It just happens. And maybe most tellingly, you won’t think about your characters or your plot for days; you won’t notice small details in your everyday life and remember them for later. You will hit a writer’s block.

This is fine. It happens. If you’ve completely stopped caring about your seedling novel, then maybe it’s time to let it go. People do “outgrow” the stories that they once wanted to tell. But if you still like what you’ve written so far and you’re still (even abstractly) interested in seeing your characters through, then here are a few tips to get through the hard times:

Keep a notebook and pen/pencil with you always. You’ll have experienced by now the difference between composing paragraphs in your head and transposing them onto paper. A brilliant subway train of thought always deteriorates by the time you get to your stop. I know that you spent over half your life on a computer. You’ve been allowed to take notes on a laptop since the start of freshman year. But look: don’t underestimate the power of writing things down.

Make playlists. Follow the tradition of vampire/supernatural novelists (Stephanie Meyer and Kim Harrison do it) and several pop-y TV writers (The OC did this too): make character-specific playlists. It’s like making a playlist for finals. It’s a fun way to procrastinate, and thinking about specific songs also forces you to think about the specific character and how much certain songs fit into their lives. You can also make plot-specific playlists, or if you want to get super specific, cross reference the two and make a really comprehensive series of playlists for every character in every scene. Having a standard set of associations with your novel will also help you get into the same mood every time you prepare to really write.

Write. Write more. Joyce Carol Oates writes for about eight hours a day. Ray Bradbury tries to finish one short story a day. Ask any writer, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or historical: the only way out is to keep writing. Whether you use any of the material you write during your dry spell is irrelevant. Take fifteen minutes at the beginning of everyday and just free write—don’t worry about the topic or spelling or punctuation. Write your bridge chapter badly, changing it every day until you can move on to the next bit. Write in the present. Write in the future. You know. Stick with it and all that.

Sidebar:

Casting your novel

A friend of mine is ghost-writing a creative non-fiction book about her boss’s grandmother. She finds it easier to work when she can look at the grandmother’s photo; she imagines the woman in the photo living her life and narrates that. I’ve celebrity cast my novel (Josh Jackson and Matthew Goode are in it), and I find that putting the thoughts and actions on a physical body helps me map a logical progression of what happens next. Also, looking up photos and making pretty montages is a great way to procrastinate.

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

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It’s Time To Start Writing

December 3rd, 2016
Image Credit: http://www.professorbeej.com/2010/07/writing-my-novel-keep-on-writing.html

Image Credit: http://www.professorbeej.com/2010/07/writing-my-novel-keep-on-writing.html

So you’ve amassed enough raw ideas and information to start actually writing your novel (or maybe not. You might work better just free-writing and then fact-check-editing all at once. I don’t know your life). The task of sitting down to commit your ideas to paper can be a tough one, I know. It’s like writing a final term paper; you chose your final topic based on your greatest interest (maybe strategically planning to hold off on this topic until the final paper) and it’s actually a fun time doing the prep work—but you still have to write the paper.

At this stage, you should experiment with your writing environment and figure out what works best for what mood. A café might be great for regrouping your thoughts. A silent library might be best for sitting down and grinding out a chapter or two in a few hours. Or perhaps you’ll find that like Virginia Woolf, you work best in your own room. Make a working playlist. Try writing out your initial draft by hand. Maybe borrow a typewriter. Your novel doesn’t have a concrete deadline. Spend a few days just optimizing your productivity.

Places for Writers in New York

Café’s: ‘Snice (45 8th Street), Hungarian Pastry Shop (1030 Amsterdam Avenue), B Cup Café (212 Avenue B), The Tea Lounge (837 Union Street, Brooklyn), Outpost Lounge (where I write, 1014 Fulton Street, Brooklyn)

Workspaces: The Writer’s Studio at the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction (17 E 47th Street, by application and with membership fee), Paragraph (35 W 14th Street, by application and with membership fee), Brooklyn Creative Lounge (540 President Street, Brooklyn, by application ad with membership fee), New York Public Libraries…your…campus libraries?

If you are not terribly distractible when working with other people, it could help to join a writers’ salon so that you can discuss your writing or perhaps motivate yourself to write with other people.

Sidebar: Writing habits or haunts of various authors

Joyce Carol Oates writes in longhand for six to eight hours every day.

Truman Capote wrote while lying down, drinking and smoking cigarettes.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote his novels all on index cards.

Tom Wolfe writes ten pages every day, regardless of how long it takes for him to finish.

Edgar Allan Poe as well as Jonathan Franzen spent some time at The Writer’s Studio at the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction

Joan Didion consistently rewrites her novels from the beginning (or almost beginning) every day.

Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac both wrote in the Village bar, Kettle of Fish

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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Do Your Research

November 26th, 2016
Image Credit: https://uwioss.com/2016/01/22/efc-tip-8-do-your-research/

Image Credit: https://uwioss.com/2016/01/22/efc-tip-8-do-your-research/

Whether you’re writing a historical or modern or fantastical or futuristic scifi novel, do your research. If your character listens to the radio in World War II, what exact kind of reports are they listening to? Is there music? Which songs, what genre, what is the character’s opinion of it and does it contrast with the historically recorded attitude? (You don’t necessarily have to pump all this information at once. Or at all. But if you choose to include that detail about the radio, then it’s significant in some way and it does contribute to the character’s definition.) If you’re writing a CIA spy novel, what screening process do people actually have to go through now to enter the CIA? Would your character have to worry about it or not?

Even in completely invented settings, the details matter. You won’t have to do much concrete research, but do consider that while you don’t care about the economical structure of the futuristic dystopia that you’ve invented, or maybe the specifics of swordsmanship are irrelevant to your medieval-esque fantasy, someone will question it. The issue of how your characters make money or whether money is even extant matters. A saber is not an epee is not a foil is not a broadsword, and certain actions simply can’t be done with a broadsword. If you just wing it, your novel will lose credibility.

A common Terry Pratchett Discworld theme to keep in mind: people can accept a large, improbable event in your characters’ lives, but they more readily notice and reject wrong (or missing) details.

On researching while you write: inevitably, you will come up with extra scenes or maybe change a character’s profession to better suit your novel. It’s easy to Wikipedia whatever details you want to add, but of course that usually devolves into lost hours clicking around on Wikipedia. Sci-fi writer Cory Doctorow uses this tip: when you come to a point that needs research, just type “TK” where your facts should be. The combination of the letters “TK” is rare in the English language, so you can do a quick document search at the end of a writing session to find where you need to fact-check.

Sidebar: Excellent places in the city to research:

The National Archives (201 Varick Street)

Houses or has access to all government-related archives in American history. Excellent collection of primary sources, from genealogy to previously passed economic policies. Good for historical American novels or more general research on political intrigues. Call ahead if you want to use an archived material in person.

The New York Public Library (Main Branch on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue)

Holds archives on several different topics in its various branches; art and architecture at the Main Branch; Performing Arts in the Lincoln Center Branch; science and business at 188 Madison Avenue branch. Great for reading in general, but especially good for nailing down the details in your settings. Protip: The Main Branch also has a huge collection of original manuscripts from interviews with common New Yorkers to the papers of writers such as Truman Capote and James Joyce. It’s worth checking out, but if you want to take notes, use the paper and pencil provided. The librarians will not hesitate to throw you out if you write in pen. Or use your own notebook.

Central Park (Central Park)

Work on your tan and eavesdrop on passing conversations. There’s no limit to the topics that people willingly discuss in public, and it’s a great way to pick up and squirrel away some idiosyncrasies of humanity.

American Museum of Natural History (200 Central Park West)

Scads of scientific information, as well as physical reproductions of animals existing and extinct, an exhibit about space, and everything in between. Iron out the scientific justifications for your aliens’ appearances (as H.G. Wells does in War of the Worlds), or visualize your nomadic protagonist trekking across the sweeping savannahs of Africa.

International Travels (Various)

Not writing your novel on Americans? Have a love affair with Western Europe (like T. S. Eliot) or perhaps East Asia (like Pearl S. Buck)? Well, sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to get a feel for your (Earth-bound) setting unless you actually physically visit. The importance of small details in daily life, like tipping in restaurants or physical proximity to country borders or a country’s layout around bodies of water, aren’t prominent until you have to deal with a different system. (Did you know that microwavable burritos are not common in England? If your British character gets the munchies, kebabs or fried chicken are more likely.)

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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4 Things to Consider Before Writing a Novel

November 19th, 2016
Image Credit: https://thetermaganttarleisio.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/hand_writing.jpg

Image Credit: https://thetermaganttarleisio.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/hand_writing.jpg

1) Characters

Establish your characters. It can be a quick profile to a two-page-long character history. Understand their backgrounds, how their histories shaped them and put them into your narrative, what their purposes serve. Don’t hesitate to cut one if you find that two characters are serving the same purpose (all the friends in a social circle, for example, can usually be condensed into one or two people, unless they’re specifically set as foils to each other).

2) Setting

Know exactly when and where your story takes place. You might just want to write a generic 19th century Gothic novel, but time and place matter. The dark forests of Italy give a different connotation than the swarthy heaths of England, and neither are quite as exotic (or potentially cliché-ridden) as a crumbling castle in Romania. Grounding your novel in a time and place gives it specificity, which gives the readers a concrete understanding of the world that your characters are in. It may be that the characters are used to dreary heavy clothing or terrifyingly sublime views from cliffs, but the readers are not. Familiarize them.

 3) Plot

You don’t have to know exactly how a conflict will resolve, or how it will arise, when you start writing. Often, the plot changes as you write. But you should have an idea of where the character will be at the end of the novel, so that there is some loose structure and an endgame in sight. Some people story board their entire novels; some people just start with a character in a setting and a first line.

4) Writing What You Know

It’s a general truism that writers only really succeed when they write what they know. Drawing on your life experiences in the plot and characters is inevitable. Actively pay attention to the miniscule details in your life, too. Those will help ground your settings and characters; small disappointments in everyday lives, the way some people pick up pennies on the street but not others, the fresh smell of a farmer’s market or the look and feel of a snow-heavy sky—details like these make the background feel real.

Also be careful of drawing too much from “what you know.” Pulling circumstances from your latest breakup or family tragedy is great for details. Being too emotionally invested in your personal reaction rather than the characters’ can easily devolve into rants and references that only really make sense to you. Leave some time when it comes to something that hurts.

Sidebar: For example, a character profile I wrote while I was feeling uninspired: Evelyn Mercer, the unintentional protagonist. A minor character in the fashionable set of Bright Young People in London, Evelyn works for the Special Operations Executive in Baker Street, passing and copying messages in the main office of the branch. The least political of her friends, she would prefer to pretend that there is actually no war; this is just how life is always. She lives in a flat with two roommates near Baker Street.

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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In the Beginning Was An Idea

November 12th, 2016
Image Credit: https://www.edx.org/course/how-write-novel-writing-draft-ubcx-cw1-2x-0

Image Credit: https://www.edx.org/course/how-write-novel-writing-draft-ubcx-cw1-2×-0

So you want to write a novel. Awesome. I’m writing a novel, too. Novels are hard to write in college; being in college tends to get in the way. But if you’re determined to finish your masterpiece, this is a general guide to help you along.

So you have a starting point for your novel, whether it’s a character you wish was real, or a conflict you want to explore on paper, or even just a fun bit of dialogue that’s stuck in your head. Excellent. Your novel will grow and sprawl from that seedling idea into a minimum 50,000 word work (about 175 pages, according to the official definition of a novel by the people at National Novel Writing Month).

Well. Wait. Maybe not 50,000 words. That’s an entire year’s worth of papers. That’s two senior theses. The question I’m asking is, are you sure your idea isn’t better off in a short story?

The difference between a short story and a novel isn’t in word count. A novel isn’t just a super-long short story, nor is it just a series of short stories with connected beginnings and endings. There’s an entire shift in mood and mindset. Short story conflicts are immediate; they’re not necessarily enormous, life-altering moments. They close and resolve their themes within a momentary peek into a character’s life. Novel conflicts are built up. There is just enough necessary room for a long exposition and rising action to create central conflict that logically arises from the characters you’ve established. Novel conflicts send ripples through almost all the aspects of a character’s life. Every line leads logically from not just previous lines, but previous chapters, and each line draws comparison between the individual character and our general expectations of average people. You can’t define a person in the moment of a short story. You can define a person in the chronicle of a novel.

Maybe your idea is large enough to sustain a novel. It could be political, or romantic, or fantastic. But in case you’re having trouble fleshing out your idea, it might help to think of your skeleton novel in terms of its larger themes (yes, I am suggesting that you close-read your own novel before you’ve written it). From there, you can imagine specific scenes or monologues that will further shape your novel. A theme is not a moral. You don’t have to have a moral. You do need to have a purpose.

A note about style: It’s your novel. Write it however you want. Read. Read a lot, and steal any stylistic devices you like.

Sidebar: For example, the seedling to my novel actually started as a short story; in short, it was about a woman who falls in love during World War II and the bittersweet knowledge that when the war ends, her relationship must end. It was a single (somewhat substantial but still rather isolated) period of her life. Now that I’m fleshing it out, I want to raise it from a static personal investment to something broader: a young person’s confrontation with life’s disappointment and mortality on the largest human scale, and, politically, whether her love for her country is worth her own selfish emotions.

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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How Not to Do Anything: An Expert Guide – How Not to Be Relied On

November 5th, 2016
Image Credit: http://www.moores.com.au/news/unreliable-employee

Image Credit: http://www.moores.com.au/news/unreliable-employee

Despite all of your finest efforts to shirk responsibility and lead a duty-free life, if you have any friends or family, you are constantly at risk of having someone try to foist some of their own well-earned obligations on you. Even if you diligently avoid the serious commitment of having a pet or a child, an aunt, neighbor, or friend can swoop in at any moment and ask you to be a good nephew/neighbor/friend and take care of their poodle or their daughter for anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. Such a request might appear perfectly reasonable to a “busy” person, since you seem to have so much time on your hands, but who are they to presume that you can act as their butler on a moment’s notice? You had some big, um, plans for this week.

Like most of the advice in this tome, the solution to this problem is rather obvious: if you don’t want to be relied on, simply be as unreliable as possible. Assure (“yeah, sure”) your neighbor that you’ll feed his fish each day that he’s away, but don’t worry too much about the details; fish don’t need to eat every day, and a week’s worth of food can be supplied at one time. If, God forbid, your neighbor’s fish tank were to turn into a noxious wastebowl, or an unlucky fish were to die, then you could rest easy knowing that you’d never again be asked to take care of anything for your neighbor.

At times when you can’t exactly blow off an inherited task, for instance, when you’re expected to watch a child, tardiness can be an excellent way of saying “don’t count on me” without doing anything really heinous or taking out your frustration on the child, who is of course not responsible for his or her own existence. Most parents will go so far as to give up on free babysitting if they can’t be sure that the babysitter (you) will show up even remotely on time. The really essential thing is not (necessarily) to do a terrible job whenever asked to do something for someone else, but to plant a sweet little seed of doubt in the minds of those who may try to foist a task on you. It shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who’s more reliable than you are.

By Aaron Brown


Aaron Brown was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book “How Not To Do Anything: An Expert Guide.” If you like Aaron’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from his e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

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How Not to Do Anything: An Expert Guide – How Not to Be Well-Read, and Remain Uninformed

October 29th, 2016
Image Credit: http://www.grmatthews.com/single-post/2015/07/23/Bored-of-information

Image Credit: http://www.grmatthews.com/single-post/2015/07/23/Bored-of-information

Some of the most successful idlers are prone to expending vast amounts of time reading books or (let’s be realistic) the Internet, due to a desire to be the kind of person who reads widely and knows what’s going on in the world. Reading is as good a waste of time as anything else that no one is forced to do, and if that’s what you like to do when you’re doing nothing, more power to you. But to a true layabout, reading, or at least reading books or the news or just about anything that’s particularly serious, is a bit too much of a hassle.

For most of recorded history, reading was the best entertainment that could be found anywhere, at any time, and it was beloved of some of history and literature’s greatest loafers, like Aristotle and Hamlet. However, in today’s crowded entertainment marketplace, reading can’t compete. Even reading something as innocuous as the tabloids is infinitely more taxing than watching reality television, or having a tiny woman in a box on your computer screen tell you what it says in the tabloids. The internet is an immaculate solution to the problem of serious reading: not only can you pick from an incomprehensibly large selection of vacuous material, but you can even post your own most banal and meaningless thoughts. Which means that anyone with an internet connection can find a supply of asinine amusement that is literally limitless.

To those who aspire to the pinnacles of sluggardom, I recommend the following habits:

  • Abstain from all newspapers (and their websites), non-glossy magazines, and books not written by famous people. Basically, avoid anything that’s actually in print and isn’t colorful.
  • Get all of your news from celebrities’ twitter accounts.
  • Always go with the movie version.
  • Instead of reading canonical authors and books, read their wikipedia pages. (This trick works with less well-regarded books, too!)
  • If you disagree with your reading material, find something else to read.

By Aaron Brown


Aaron Brown was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book “How Not To Do Anything: An Expert Guide.” If you like Aaron’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from his e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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How Not to Do Anything: An Expert Guide – How Not to Be a Force for Positive Change in Your Community

October 22nd, 2016
Image Credit: http://bit.ly/2dGIYVQ

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/2dGIYVQ

No less venerable an American than Mohammed Ali once said, “Service to others is the payment you make for your space here on Earth.” That’s one way to look at it. “I never asked to be born; I don’t owe nobody shit,” is another (suggested by the rap duo Das Racist in their song, “I Don’t Owe Nobody Shit”). Whether your views on the subject of community service are closer to one or the other aforementioned, or completely different, chances are that you will not be doing much volunteering in the near (or distant) future. After all, volunteering, like visiting a museum or voting, is one of those things that nearly everyone shares a deep belief in doing, but seldom actually does.

As anyone who’s ever done some volunteering can tell you, it is generally dull, disheartening, and thankless work (since you don’t get paid to do it, duh). Unfortunately for breast cancer researchers and homeless people, even the most heartfelt gratitude of the nicest volunteer coordinator you’ll ever meet doesn’t really compare to the material satisfaction of cashing a check and then buying some clothing or electronics. Moreover, volunteering can be incredibly depressing, since the causes that require volunteers tend to be both pretty dire and underserviced. And only some people (do-gooders, masochists) enjoy that demoralizing tang.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you don’t have to change much of anything in order not to be a force for good in your community. But just in case you dabble in working for free, here are some alternative choices. When you want to see something intensely dispiriting, watch the new Holocaust movie, or read the World section of the newspaper. When you’re asked to lend a hand, inform your implorer that you’re late for your weekly nursing home tea time with Granny; that should quiet them up, and maybe even get you some encouragement, which is nice even if undeserved. And when you feel like a worthless, lazy waste of space, turn on some partisan cable news: you’ll find ample evidence of your own value as a person, in the form of commentators and politicians, whose central goals on this Earth seem to be to obtain the maximum number of fake tans and to terrify everyone else. You never even bother the neighbors.

By Aaron Brown


Aaron Brown was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book “How Not To Do Anything: An Expert Guide.” If you like Aaron’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from his e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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How Not to Do Anything: An Expert Guide – How Not to Stay in Shape

October 15th, 2016
Image Credit:  http://mom.girlstalkinsmack.com/health/exercise-of-diabetics.aspx

Image Credit:
http://mom.girlstalkinsmack.com/health/exercise-of-diabetics.aspx

Many young Americans spend an altogether gratuitous amount of time and money on exercise and a healthy diet, two things which all doctors order, but which almost no one really enjoys. Despite the difficulty and unpleasantness of physically exerting yourself or eating home-cooked vegetables, there is an unfortunate tangle of social pressures that causes a great many people to do so. Luckily for you, you are immune to the unreasonable ideals of the popular culture and your mother.

While it may prove problematic not to get a job, or lonely not to have a lady or gentleman friend, it is surpassingly easy not to stay in shape; that’s why one third of all adults in the United States are obese! But don’t worry, it’s not necessary to take it that far. The important thing is to be only as unhealthy as you want to be. With a diet of whatever is tasty and at hand, plus a minimal exercise regimen, you can settle into a nice equilibrium of health, a natural weight that may fluctuate drastically depending on the quality of local fast food, and the frequency of meals that you can get other people to make for you.

With the time and money that other people pour into their local gym and health food store, you can do practically anything, or, even better, practically nothing. Watch TV, fly a kite, browse the latest internet memes—if you’re feeling crazy, read a book. Nearly anything that you feel like doing is far less arduous and more pleasurable than exercising, and with all of your unhealthy savings, you can even buy a playstation or a bigger TV, and stay on the cutting edge of indolence. With the right attitude and a total lack of willpower, you can be as lethargic as the most spoiled house dog, and you don’t even have to go outside to go to the bathroom!

By Aaron Brown


Aaron Brown was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book “How Not To Do Anything: An Expert Guide.” If you like Aaron’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from his e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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How Not to Do Anything: An Expert Guide – How Not to Be Cool

October 8th, 2016
Image Credit: http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lyxq6u2z7m1qf0zg2o1_500.jpg

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/2dUIf0u

For those living the languorous life, it can be tempting to consider yourself somehow superior to others due to your activity-free lifestyle and comparatively blithe, carefree existence. This is a thoroughly justified and righteous assessment to make. However, you have to be extremely careful not to take such judgements beyond their simplest, self-evident conclusions, and begin to consider yourself cool. Being cool has a lot of appeal to young people––it means that you somehow know better than your peers, without knowing anything at all, and it means that you get to have sex without necessarily having a job. But being cool, like having a real job or a girlfriend, takes nearly constant work.

Don’t be fooled by the false detachment of the coolest guy in the room: no matter how apathetic his mien, he is deeply invested in your perception of him in relation to everyone else. He feeds off your vision of him, which proves his coolness better than he ever could. What you need is true detachment, and you can’t have that unless you sincerely don’t care what the other people at the party think of you, since you aren’t invested in a cool self-image. Know that you are better than them, but pay no attention to whether or not they realize this. In fact, it’s better if they don’t.

In order to circumvent any hazard of coolness, I have an elegant solution: wear sweatpants. All the time. Sweatpants are incredibly comfortable and always cheap. You can wear them anywhere, including in bed, and best of all, there will never be any confusion as to whether or not you are cool. (This strategy is also highly effective when eluding employment and romantic entanglements.) While everyone else scrambles to adhere to the moment’s fashions, you can sit on the couch, complacent in your sweatpants. From far enough away, you look like a king on his throne, in robes of cheapest cotton.

By Aaron Brown


Aaron Brown was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book “How Not To Do Anything: An Expert Guide.” If you like Aaron’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from his e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

Share