LIT & CRIT : FINANCE : CULTURE
JAMES ALTUCHER
 
PULLING BACK THE COVER 
ON HIS WRITING TECHNIQUES

Continued from Page 3

HAMSTERS AND THE WHEEL

 

Also, the answer in many of James Altucher's essays (and in the books of many other sellers of life-advice currently making the rounds on the pundit circuit) is typically that you need to get off the hamster wheel completely. What a relief that must be for the hamsters to hear!  

But, practically speaking, it may not be practical for you as a layman unless you've already got rich friends, you've made and lost billions and have a bank account which is currently full, have already appeared on CNBC, and so on.  That is truly how you can go to the swing-set with a clear conscience. 

More money. Get more money: the secret answer to life which most gurus have to offer in the end.

Because when you have it you can relax and enjoy this crazy merry go round called life one day at a time, and attend every one of your kid's recitals. Here I'm offering it to you for free! You're welcome, Trump crime family!

Meanwhile, on the planet we call Earth, most people struggle to balance their urge to "just be" and enjoy life the way it was meant to be lived with their drive to put food on the table for their children that night or succeed in their chosen profession.  Would "letting go" have helped Van Gogh sell his paintings?  Did the cosmos reward his work while he was alive?  No, he never sold any of his paintings until he was blue as an ice cube, so don’t think that virtue is always rewarded if you just sit back and let it happen. 

 

Meanwhile, if VanGogh hadn't suffered, would his art have become famous? Well, you can't prove a negative, as they say. We might surmise he died satisfied with the work he did. Tthat should be enough in an idealistic way, but doubtlessly he would have been more satisfied to have been awarded earthly success and a few extra dinner rolls. Certainly, his brother Theo might have had less worry. People want validation, recognition. Money to buy food, and buy experience. It's human nature.

8a. Make sure your sentences are simple. A lot of simple statements.

8b. Sometimes one sentence paragraphs.

8c.  In fact, that has to be one of the worst outcomes from James Altucher's rise to fame. Now every person who copies his style thinks every sentence they write is so impactful as to need offsetting as a one sentence paragraph, for god's sake.

9.  Conclude with A Last Secret Insight that Lets Us Rise Above It All. Now, I just did all that in my #7, where I reveal that the secret is: make more money by being your own guru and save yourself the dough. But now, for no extra cost, I'll add to the insight.

My revelation in this section #9 is to break down and emulate James' technique itself by naming the James Altucher Formula as the ultimate secret insight to use.Yes, use this formula for everything you do and for every interaction in your life and you're bound to make more money and be a success. (Even though I am too humble to actually claim that as a promise, I'll kinda imply it as a promise anyway). See, when you tell the truth, behave as a humble and honest human being to others, have money and powerful friends, name drop them constantly to get some of that star-dust to rub off on you, and finally disclaim being a guru (as the ultimate guru move), you're ready for the big time.

Get an elevator speech ready and then start standing in elevators with ever- more connected and powerful people. Podcast them, interview them, get your photo taken with them. Plaster it on Instagram util the algos notice. Viola, you are one of them, and now your own blog and books are ready to take off!

Unlike me, who can't get the time of day from a signle national media outlet. :)

Thus, be sure to be humble about the final insight. Speak again to the fear and primal emotions that you tapped in the beginning, the hurting, that wound which the honesty seeks to salve. 

 

Does all that sound too cold and calculated to you? But it works, and the intent is honest, I guess. It speaks to people, because we all hurt. And we're all afraid to tell the truth, because we don't want to not win the game when the liars are winning in the short run. I mean, I know people are afraid. This is a fearful time. We want a guru to make sense of things for us in a senseless, threatening and difficult world. We're drowning, barely able to keep our heads above the water line. When an economy collapses and technology morphs, when corporatists victimize their fellows and the new mantra is "get yours while the getting is good," how do we keep up and avoid being swallowed up by the roaring waves of a financial tsunami?  How do we ever find fulfillment in an existential world? 

I guess if you get something out of the writing of someone who is a "guru" then good for you!  It's a tough world, so as Elton John-Lennon put it, "whatever gets you through the night." Whatever helps you get up in the morning. Whatever makes you some honest money, "It's all-right, it's all right." 

 

I guess you could also put up a sign around town offering "the secret to making money, just send me $10, signed, someone already rich and connected"? But, I dunno, I would assume that everyone can see through that, right? Apparently not. More about that in my book Trumpocalypse Not which you should have already bought by now if you truly ever loved me.

10. Finally, be sure to weave a tapestry of innumerable sales pitches into your work even as you disclaim the corporatist approach. Start stitching those sales pitches into everything you do (like my book Trumpocalypse Not says to do, available here at Amazon). Remember: ABC, always be closing.

Notice that on James Altucher's website, for example, the text box takes up less screen real estate than the: A. Sales Pitch #1 area, for a new product. and B. Product Pitch area, where he catalogs old products still for sale, possibly with blurbs from famous people as the wealth envy hook. A lot of them explain how he made millions to billions on Wall Street and lost it over and over. Well, heck, if I'd made made more than a few lousy million in my life, that would be my calling card too!

 

So, don’t forget: ABC. Always Be Conniving. Your site must demand that you get that precious email from the visitor. This is what is known as the body with a warm pulse you can't let get away, or permission marketing or some such.  Make sure they can't read much of your content without seeing The Signup Pitch Pop-up box, which promises them something free or that can't be missed, if only they'll give their permission to be pitched to on a daily basis via email. 

This is known as the "call to action" they demand a website visitor respond to. ALL the fancy website gurus with their own websites telling you how to build and sell your own websites say so! Heck, I even do the same thing on my website at www.extablisment.com, which you should also visit for more free amusements to while away your time on planet earth!

Your website, if you choose to accept the challenge of making one, must entice repeat business and build a database of future potential customers for your next book by sucking them into a technological stroke-chamber and Fear of Missing Out Machine, the way God intended.

Thus, count how many times James Altucher references his own work (which you should obviously buy) as a kind of a sale pitch in the body of almost every blog post he writes. Every blog post is a new advertisement for his services and insight, every time. See if you can spot where I did that myself above!

And that's it, the 10 rules of the Altucher Formula. It had to be ten because he advises to push yourself to always come up with ten ideas (which is nice practical advice). Now, armed with the knowledge, go forth and do your best to enjoy what you do and read what you like with a critical eye.

Factly, given all the writers out there today giving advice on how to live a fulfilling life, you might find James Altucher's better than most. If you are the type that does really need a guru to "do the do" well then… go ahead, sign up for the tour. Just don't fly down to Guyana with them. Instead, go forth and prosper armed with education. But be sure to come back to my website soon, I add content almost daily!

*     *     *

And that was the piece of literary criticism he didn't like.  He never explicitly asked me to kill the article, but his reply was negative and I felt bad for making him feel he was being victimized by some random asshole, so I canned the work and never published it. And now, in 2018, I've finally realized… I'm not just some random asshole. I don't necessarily need his permission, as he notes.  Instead, I'm an asshole with a mission and some correspondence to flog!

So… with all that water under the bridge flowing on so long you may wonder if this is not the Yellow River passing by. Despite this being the length of a novella, I'm adding one last thing just to over-deliver and water-under the bridge.

Below are some final comments I wrote intending to send to James on the facebook as a kind of rekindling of our discussion.

Click here for page 5, if you haven't already fallen asleep. In fact, why not take a nap and then come back to finish up in a half hour? We'll just wait right here.

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