"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

New Experience Challenge Week 49: I'm a Writer!

Have you ever used WikiHow? It's a collaborative how-to guide on basically everything. And I do mean everything. Check out some of the titles I found on my last visit there:

How to Be Cool
How to Tie Dye a Shirt with Soda Ash
How to Be a Confident Beautiful Black Girl

So I decided to write an article myself. It couldn't be too hard. Trouble was, I didn't know what to write about. What do I know about well enough to impart my knowledge to others? Let's see... I brought up the "New Article" page and clicked in the title box. What about... How to Be Social? I may not seem like it on this blog, but I'm naturally a very shy, introverted person. I've had to work very, VERY hard at learning how to thrive in social settings. I typed it in, but an error message came up on the screen.

"Oops! It looks like this article has already been written. Would you like to edit the existing article?"

"Pfft, no..." I thought. I want an article all to myself. I'd had a conversation earlier that day about the game Minecraft. Maybe I could write an article about that?

"Oops! It looks like this article has already been written. Would you like to edit the existing article?"

Urgh. Okay, what else do I know about? I thought about my blog and all the ridiculous things I'd done because of it. I thought beyond it to all the crazy things I've done, the friends I've made and the ups and downs I've gone through. I clicked in the title box and typed "How to Live Life to the Fullest."

"Oops! It looks like this article has already been written. You're getting a bit full of yourself now.

Fuck you WikiHow!

But it did give me another idea. I think I know a fair bit about humour. I've been able to explain why jokes are funny when others can't and shown people how to make unfunny jokes funny. I typed in "How to Write Comedy".

"Congratulations!" said WikiHow. "You're about to start a new article! You still sound a bit full of yourself, but we're glad to have you on board."

That's more like it. The article took me two whole nights to write. I opted to miss out on a party being held by the cast of Square Peg in order to get it done. You see what I mean about being naturally introverted?

When I finally got it done, I clicked publish, only to be told there was an error and I'd have to start again.

"Not to worry!" it said. "Here's the text in basic form. Copy and paste it so you don't lose your work."

That's actually pretty helpful, thank you WikiHow. I started the article again and began putting all the spaces between the paragraphs and italicizing the quotes. The second time I hit publish, it worked... But for some reason, it had removed those spaces and italics. Each step just appeared in a big block of text, with nothing to distinguish where one point ended and another began.


For some reason, going into the edit page allowed me to put them in again. But WikiHow must have some aversion to the enter button. When I finished editing, each new step was listed as "step 1"


I decided to leave it and hope that a more experienced editor would fix it up for me. There had been a box on the side of the screen telling me about the superfans of WikiHow and the number of articles they'd written and edited. The last guy I saw had apparently edited 45 000 of them. I'm sure he could fix up my problem.

Nonetheless, I did get a good sense of satisfaction out of writing it. I've bookmarked the page and will constantly check back to see how many hits it's gotten and how it's been changed. If you'd like to read the article, here it is :)

On another note, my Movember campaign is over... in a way.

I had made the whole thing a very big deal, even appearing on-air at Fresh (the radio station where I volunteer). To talk about how bad it looked and hold a vote among the listeners on whether I should shave it off early. They voted to keep it, thank goodness. I'd inched my way up to about $500. I was happy with that. I couldn't wait to shave it off. Then on November 30 - the final night - I was at Jason's house with the Gang, talking about it. I'd just read a notification saying that I'd received a massive donation of $100. I was stoked.
'Here's what I want to know,' said Mitchell with a cheeky smile on his face. 'How much would it take for you to keep the mo for another month?'
There was a collective "Ooooh..." from the rest of the group as I considered my answer. I was interested. I wanted it to be as high a number as possible while still being tempting for him.
'$200,' I challenged. 'Make a decision quickly, because it's December in four hours and I want to shave this thing off.'
Three hours later, Mitchell showed me his phone. It showed a receipt to the Movember foundation for $200.

So that's the story. my final tally was $871.90. I raised the most out of the eighty-something people that were in my team. But I have to keep this bloody mo for another month. Urgh.

36 comments:

  1. I never really thought of all the form comedy can take, very thorough indeed. lmao good luck with the scruff for another month

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man. I think it's just about starting to look like a mo :P

      Delete
  2. Now that your article is on Wikihow, I expect to never hear a bad joke again. Comedians have no excuse now. Just read your article!

    So when can we expect to see that big mustache of yours, hmmm? Post some photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Write down the link on a business card and hand it to the next person who fails to get a laugh.

      Delete
  3. More pics please, and great job on Movember!

    More writing please!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah well, never mind. Maybe you'll end up looking like Tom Selleck, who is an actor you are probably too young to remember. I shall read your comedy article and speculate on whether it would have helped Groucho Marx to be funnier. There's another moustache you could imitate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha that's the second time someone's told me I'm too young to know about something! I'll admit I've never seen Magnum PI, but I'm fortunate enough to know Tom Selleck's work through the show Friends ;)

      Delete
  5. You raised over $800 for prostate cancer research, well done! Oh and being a wiki contributor, that's all well and good too. But in honor of your Movember triumph, I'd like to offer you my prostate cancer awareness slogan, "Men, get a finger up your butt."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! I'll put that on a plaque next to the one that says "Women, it's time to let someone feel your boobs".

      Delete
  6. Well, I looked at your wiki page and no one has fixed the numbering system, yet. I would fix it up right, except for the fact that I have no clue how to do it. It's a great article, though! I will be curious to see how it morphs :)

    And Mitchell is awesome! You'll have to show us your mustache again before you shave it to see how it, too, morphs, ha ha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far someone added it to a category, someone removed it from that category and a third person added it to a new category. Then someone fixed a couple of spelling mistakes in the 87th and 100th lines.

      Yeah I think that'll be the plan.

      Delete
  7. Congratulations. On both counts.
    Great article - and perhaps Mitchell will allow you to shave for Christmas - as a Christmas present...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know what, bless his heart... Later he tried to downgrade it to two weeks. But I'd made a deal, so I'll be sticking to it.

      Delete
  8. I'll be honest here. I have never visited Wikihow. You should feel honored that my first visit was to read your article, which was very good, by the way!

    And 3 cheers for being the top fundraiser for Movember, even if you have to deal with the scruff for another month. Then again, I think some guys look pretty sexy with scruff, so you may find yourself getting hit on by a whole new set of women now ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm am honoured, thank you!

      Not the way my facial hair grows. It's like trying to push play-do through a cheese grater.

      Delete
  9. The article on comedy writing is so scientific. I remember when someone asked youtuber Greg Onision to explain why his videos were "funny", and he really couldn't. After that I just thought comedy was some inexplicable mystery of the universe, but I guessed you proved that notion wrong. It would have been interesting to read the article on how to be more social. Couldn't you have entitled it "how to overcome shyness" or "how to be more outgoing" and then written it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are plenty of people in comedy (mostly mid-level comedians) who would arc up at the idea of there being rules. Those people need to get over themselves.

      Well I haven't checked, but I'd wager those titles would already be taken too.

      Delete
  10. I liked your Wikihow article. I have no idea how to fix the numbers, but I hope someone will come along and do that for you. Congratulations on the money you've raised! That's fantastic. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Now if only I could raise that sort of money as a writer...

      Delete
  11. Wohoo! You're in Wikihow, you're published! That's awesome!!! You did a great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm a bit disappointed I couldn't lay it out a bit better though.

      Delete
  12. I guess I can write How To Be An Introvert While Being The Sexiest Woman on Earth. Congratulations on your fundraising.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I strongly suggest you write that article and link us to it.

      Delete
  13. Cheers to a successful Movember! I expect pictures comes January 1st of you looking like Wilford Brimley.

    Not only is that a damn good dissection of comedy, it's probably one of the best WikiHow articles I've ever read. A lot of them are very generic or full of opinions rather than facts, but I like the somewhat scientific angle you took.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks on both counts! I've already been told I look a bit like Charles Bronson.

      Delete
  14. I clicked on how to be a beautiful, black girl. Now all I do is walk around, shouting at people, "Nuh, uh! No you DITn't!" And I can't stop my neck from swiveling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then trust me, you don't want to click on "How to behave like a sexual deviant".

      Delete
  15. Lol!!!! This is great. Hahahaha now you should go to yahoo questions and post some of your wisdom as answers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I've expended all my available wisdom at this point ;)

      Delete
  16. I'm so tempted to do some work on the article...maybe later this week...It's great, especially the part about scoring a date. I'm relieved you didn't try to be a confident beautiful black girl like Al Penwasser - not that there's anything wrong with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It emails me to let me know when someone changes it, so I'll know what you've done :)

      Delete
  17. I especially enjoyed your Seinfeld and Boston Legal references! Though Boston Legal was not considered a sitcom, it had a lot of funny moments. I'm impressed that you were published on WikiHow! I'm also impressed that you raised so much money for charity! Way to go, Michael!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought Boston Legal was one of the funniest shows ever. Probably because the jokes came at such dramatic moments.

      Delete
  18. I want to write and illustrate a children's book someday soon. I love children's book illustrations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So do I! But I like them more for their imagination and honesty.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This Page

Any part of this blog may be reproduced or distributed, providing credit is given to the original author.