The Complete Writer's Kit. I found it in a catalog, with this description:
New York Times bestseller list, here you come. Get that great American novel out of the back of your head and down on paper with a motivating kit that kicks your ideas into action. Step-by-step direction and inspiration includes 30 Steps to Becoming a Writer; Get Published in 6 Months or Less has practical, actionable advice. Paperback, 208 pages plus a 52-card deck for fighting writer's block. $22.95
First: I have to take issue with the use of the word "complete." Nowhere in this description does it mention chocolate. You can't take the writing journey without pounds and pounds of the stuff. And what about the sandpaper you need to toughen up your skin? Where's that? How about the babysitter to take care of the kids while you hammer out that NYT bestseller? And the takeout restaurant gift certificates so your family can eat while you do research?
The creators of this kit are reputable and well-known in the publishing industry. And yet, there's just something about it that raises my hackles. Just a teensy-weensy bit. Maybe it's not the kit itself, but the description in the catalog. Somebody, some innocent soul without a clue, will look at this and say "Oh, wow! For $22.95 plus shipping, I can become a real, live writer! Let me get out my debit card!" And that makes me sad.
If you were creating The Ultimate, Best-Ever, How-To-Be-A-Writer Kit, what would you include?
(P.S. I have a copy of James Scott Bell's incredibly awesome Plot & Structure -- the only and best how-to-write "kit" you'll ever need -- and a brand-new set of highlighters to give away! I'll pull a name from all the commenters and post the winner's name Christmas Eve.)