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hiyaa by Dana Oshiro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.  

August 24, 2008

Getting Published: Being an Influencer

I just got home from Gnomedex and checked my personal email. I've been asked to contribute to an anthology of stories targeted at 11-14-year-olds. I don't even know if 11-14-year-olds want to read a story written by some wizened old crone rambling into obsolescence. I'm sure every rebellious thing I ever did would be tame for today's teen. Still, here are some myths I've refuted in an effort to cobble together some practical survival advice:

1. POPULARITY DOESN'T MATTER OUTSIDE OF HIGH SCHOOL: The easiest way to get a job is to be likable and to know someone already in the company. I work 10-12 hour days. I would rather hire someone pleasant and moderately intelligent, than someone who is brilliant and psychotic.
2. SEX IS FOR PROCREATION: You don't have to be embarrassed to want to get with someone. Just always wear a condom, try not to have too many partners, and more than anything - only get with partners who are discreet and respectful. You are a human being and your sex life shouldn't be your identity. If it becomes your identity, you're more likely to experience creepy situations.

3. IF YOU MAKE A PLAN AND STICK WITH IT, YOU'LL GET WHAT YOU WANT: Do you really think that 94% of the world living in poverty is composed of a bunch of loafers and poor planners? Find a purpose that makes you happy and surround yourself with solid people. It doesn't matter what you do, just feel strongly about something and prepare for some nice surprises.
4. DRUGS ARE DRUGS: Marijuana won't kill you. It will make you slow, giggly, sometimes paranoid, and worst of all, fat (as you are more prone to eating an entire bag of Frito Lays in one sitting). Meanwhile, cocaine, meth amphetamines, heroin, crack, GHB mixed with alcohol, MDMA cut with speed, and high concentrations of LSD might hurt you. There is no such thing as a trustworthy drug supply. Your friend's brother's LSD was made in a bathtub and there is no guarantee that the same batch will produce the same effect on different people. If you're going to experiment, read about chemicals on the internet from a credible source.
5. THEY'RE JUST JEALOUS: If you're like me, you have a sneaky suspicion that the hot people only invite you to do stuff in order to laugh at you. Congratulations on having this level of self awareness. Your other geek friends won't figure this out for years. Still, when the cool kids pick on you, they aren't doing it because they're jealous. They're doing it because they think you're a snotty asshole. If you think someone is an idiot, don't let them know it. Be nice, ask questions and try to learn something.

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