Writer Reveals How To Create Advice Columns

Allie S. asks, “How do I write a serialized advice column that no one will follow?”

Dear Allie,

Admittedly, I take some offense with this question. You, Allie, may insinuate that no one follows my advice column, but I’ll have you know that I am Wake Forest’s and, dare I say, Winston-Salem’s single most-read advice columnist. This is no small feat considering my main rivals — a twelve-year-old named Sage who publishes some frankly inspirational stuff on her Tumblr page, and Jimmy, the freshman English major who wrote for the Wake Forest Review because he thought it was all about book reviews — have been trying to sabotage me for months.

Regardless of your slanderous question, you have touched on something that has been gnawing at my heart with the same fervor that the support dogs on campus gnaw at their owner’s leashes. Allie, I am a fraud.

In order to create Winston-Salem’s most popular advice column, I have been lying for months. The FBI has not been chasing me, nor have they been tearing me apart from my two children. I don’t even have two children; I actually have three of them. I haven’t been married and divorced twenty-seven times, only once. My name isn’t even Peter Schlachte.

Yes, I’ve been writing Touching Tips under an alias. My actual name is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, multi-millionaire action star and former WWE ringside phenomenon.

I’ve won the Royal Rumble; I’ve saved the planet in 17 different movies; I’ve even successfully convinced people to call me “The Rock” and still made it sound cool, but something in my life has always felt lacking. I, Dwayne Douglas Johnson, the most successful person to ever be cut from the Canadian Football League, have always wanted to be a writer.

Spending this last academic school year writing an advice column for a university that I entirely forgot existed after mercilessly pummeling them in football in the 1990s has been more than a dream come true; it has been the greatest year of my life.

Using my prodigious acting skills, I have seamlessly blended in with campus life, posing as an everyday student, calling my parents to warn them that I might fail accounting, dancing to Mo Bamba while sucking on a Juul in Chi Psi’s basement, even securing my spot as the fourth person in a Polo suite by spreading rumors about my friend Jimmy so that we could kick him out of next year’s housing group.

Therefore, Allie, my advice to you is quite simple. To write a serialized advice column, you need only three things: a twenty-year career as a professional wrestler, a People’s Choice Award for the oddly specific category of “Favorite Premium Cable TV Actor” and, most importantly, enough clout to have a Wikipedia page with 346 citations. Seriously, 346 citations? That’s more than most Ph.D. dissertations.

If you follow these steps, you can lead the future generation of advice columnists! It’s truly been an honor to pose as a student and to write advice for this past year. This is Dwayne, signing off.

XOXO,

Dwayne “The ‘Peter Schlachte’ Rock” Johnson