Wanna Be A Writer Wannabe? Well Do I Have The Secret Sauce For You

Dog wearing sunglasses

Photo: Josh Rakower

First off, use clickbait titles. Because if nothing else works, at least you’ll have gotten one extra click to show off to your prospective clients.

But perhaps I’m jumping the gun here. Do forgive me.

So you wanna be a writer wannabe. Not just a writer, no. You actually want to live the writer’s life without actually putting in the work. I totally get it. After all, I was a wannabe for most of my writing life, because for most of my career, my days only consisted of business articles and fluff pieces.

My dream was to write sci-fi novels, and there I was, letting the years pass before I actually got started. So believe me when I tell you that I have tons of experience in being a writer wannabe.

And if you’re looking to head onto the same path, then I have good news for you: You too can be a writer wannabe if you simply follow these seven amazing tips!

1. Love the process

And when I say process, I mean the planning, imagining, and hunting down a specific pen to write your novel with just because it’s what Neil Gaiman uses.

Instead of wasting time on your actual story, you should instead create all four languages spoken in your fictional world. Bonus points if you include the cuss words.

You could also gain clout by reading as many books on the craft as you can, spouting timeless tips like ‘use less adverbs’ and ‘write a shitty first draft’ every time the opportunity presents itself.

After all, writing isn’t sexy, but talking about it is.

Also, don’t forget to tell everyone on Facebook how you’re procrastinating from writing the next time you catch yourself vacuuming your living room.

2. Question everything

You can’t write the next masterpiece without a good dose of critical thinking. And how better to showcase your critiquing prowess than by commenting on the bestseller list.

Still a better love story than Twilight.

I don’t understand how anyone can read Dan Brown’s work.

Man, they should’ve renamed this 50 Shades Of Brown, because like Dan Brown, this is totally shโ€”we all get the point. Books like these shouldn’t exist because they’re not what you typically read. After all, every other successful author got where they are today by pure dumb luck.

Not you, though. Someday, you’ll write a bestselling book, and you won’t do it by pandering to the masses. No. Your work will be art.

3. Befriend your muse

…even when he/she/it is borderline neglectful and shows up only once a year.

Having a muse is more romantic, after all, because actually sitting down to write is so 1880. In this day and age, you should be able to crank out 80,000 words on a weekend and send it to print the following Monday, because that’s how real artists roll.

For the rest of the year, you can spend your days getting drunk and snorting coke off your keyboard, because uninspired writing should be left to the schmucks and hacks. And hey, if cocaine helped Stephen King write IT, then it sure as hell is going to get you through your masterpiece, which would undoubtedly be better than The Da Vinci Code or Eat, Pray, Love.

4. The only book you should read is the one you’re going to write

Reading? Pssh. More like a waste of time. Every minute spent on a book could be put to much better use, such as researching programming languages, even though it has nothing to do with that AI novel you plan to write.

Besides, real artists go with their gut feel. Why should you pigeonhole yourself and mar your masterpiece with the influence of other writers? Also, Cliff’s Notes can get you much further, faster than having to slog through all that drivel.

Now if only you could get past the first chapter of your WIP so that you can have something to read while you’re on the toilet.

5. Protect your intellectual property

This is especially true if all you ever write are blog posts. You’ve gotta protect that with copyright disclaimers on every page, because in a day and age where even works like Dune and I, Robot are being pirated, you really can’t be too careful.

Of course, this takes precedence over writing, because unless your muse knocks on the door, it’s much better to spend your time crafting the best NDA letters to publishers you’re sending your short stories to. Hey, there are some real sickos out there, so you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

6. Don’t listen to the haters

Nobody will ever understand you. Not your friends, your family, or even the professor of your MFA (which is a course you’re taking in place of actually writing the novel you’re dreaming of).

So when someone tells you that chapter two does nothing for them because it consists of your characters simply walking from one place to another, you can automatically chalk that up to their limited understanding of your genre.

But let’s not get started on genres, because your novel is fluid, and it doesn’t deserve to be lumped into this mediocre concept that is genres.

After all, who says werewolves and space marines don’t go together? People who read books, that’s who. And we all know what nerds those people can be.

7. Never finish anything

Because if you don’t, then your idea exists in your mind as a perfect story forever. Why turn it into something tangible that people can tear apart? Nobody can critique something that exists in your mind, right? Especially if you don’t plan on starting on it at all.

Yeah, an entire Google Drive of first chapters is totally fine, because that’s just you finding your voice. Someday you’ll return to one of your rough drafts, but you’re not sure when, because it’s up to your muse to tell you. But hey, Dan Brown did finish his shit, and look where that got him.

Go forth and dream

In the end, it’s the dreaming that’s the most fun. Don’t let things like work get in the way of your dreams of being a writer. Stay in wannabe land, where you can remain perfect for as long as you want, because the moment you actually try to be a real writer, you’ll have to deal with crap like deadlines andโ€”ughโ€”typing.

So make sure you don’t stray from your dreams. Keep following these tips, and you too can go through life as a perfect writer wannabe!

76 thoughts on “Wanna Be A Writer Wannabe? Well Do I Have The Secret Sauce For You

  1. Haha ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ
    These are some of the life changing tips, i was waiting for, now no one can stop me to become a writer, all thanks to you๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
    Space marines and werewolves is gonna be the main leads

  2. I laughed my head off reading this, Stuart. But seriously, seriously, this does sound like a great way to accomplish something … if you’ve got a lifetime to do so.
    I find myself damn guilty of doing 99% of what this post says. And it makes me want to scream at my writing self: “Go, you, get a life!”
    This was a great one, Stuart!

    • Lol, I didn’t expect so many people to relate to what I actually did for most of my writing life. So I’m glad that you say this. And thanks so much for stopping by as usual!

  3. You’re a clever one aren’t you? lol….Yes. the wannabe writer. My fave line ever….”After all, writing isnโ€™t sexy, but talking about it is.” Omg…so true…
    Thanks for the smile. Hope you’re well and enjoying your writer life. xo

    • Oh yeah, I was the master of talking about it and not actually writing. Too bad it takes real work to actually get things done, lol. Thanks so much for stopping by, Faye!

      • lol…yes. we all do it. the thing here is that the writing is actually the easy part…we forget that…it’s all the work that comes after. So many forget about that. I know you know but do wannabes know? you know? lol Thx Stuart.

    • So you’re going to actually write? Pssh. Better spend your time on something more productive, like watching yet another David Sedaris interview.

      p.s. thanks for stopping by I appreciate you.

    • You know what, you’re right. But I also have tons of other work to do, like plan my next book before I’m done with this first chapter (and that means four more languages to create).

      Lol, anyway thanks for stopping by!

  4. I just couldn’t stop laughing at this really hilarious post! This not only motivated me, but also made me realize that I’m guilty of 95% of these things ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  5. Stop calling me out, Stuart. Sheesh.
    Jk, love this piece. I am guilty of 7) though. Also half finished drafts that have been in cold storage for so long I actually forgot I wrote them.

    • Ahaha, I still AM guilty of #7 to be honest. Isn’t that how most writers operate? I also love reacquainting with my abandoned projects, especially those that make me go ‘I wrote that?’

      Thanks for stopping by, Eris! Always a pleasure.

  6. I’m perfectly fine as a writer wannabe. I don’t want to conceptualize my ideas.. ugh! That sucks. I want to construct perfectly themed sentences.. something profound – outstanding! as if! hahahaha!

    “Just because you’re starving, doesn’t make you an artist.” – Rajesh Koothrapali, The Big Bang Theory.

  7. You never fail to crack me up with your wisecracks that are nonetheless so spot-on! I’m guilty of so many of these things you raised up. Better hunker down and do the hard stuff of writing now….oh wait, what about my ____ and my ____. Oh Life! How cruelly you keep intruding and interrupting my magnum opus! Boo hoo…btw, where can I get a signed autograph of your book?

    • Lol I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kelvin! Oh yeah, I’m the master of making up excuses instead of writing, so I totally know how that feels, lol.

      Currently, I think it’s much easier for you to get the book in general, since you’re in Singapore and all. I have no idea how I would go around doing that other than buying my own book, signing it, and mailing it back to you, lol.

      You wanting to support me really makes my day. Thanks so much for your kind words!

  8. Absolutely hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. Felt called out on some of them but then again, I clicked on the post because I want to be a wannabe writer๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    • Lol you have no idea how good you’ve made me feel by calling me funny, especially if you know me in real life and see how I typically drone on in everyday interactions. Thanks for your comment!

  9. Totally agree with never listening to haters and it’s okay to not finish everything! I just pulled the trigger myself on my blog even though I knew a few friends found my writing imperfect or topics questionable.. And I have a bunch of unfinished posts, they are pointform, very rough drafts but I love it bc when I have more ideas to expand on them I revisit it and my posts are almost written for me! Great post :)

    • Haha, yeah, I guess the most important point is to not listen to your haters, because we do ourselves a disservice by letting others determine our creative journey. Thanks for stopping by as usual! I appreciate it!

    • Lol, so many people have admitted to doing #7, myself included, so I think I may have found the ONE writing sin that binds us all together. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!

    • Lol well you don’t get to choose. You turned writer the moment you tried writing your first story. The only thing left to do now is keep doing it.

      Thanks for stopping by, by the way!

    • Lol #7 seems to be a favourite. I’m glad, because that’s one of my biggest sins too, and this does help me feel not so alone.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!

  10. Oof! I feel like I just got punched in the gonads with this post. (and I don’t even have any.) Nevertheless, this was hilarious and I enjoyed the good laugh!

  11. I can testify that spending too much time creating stuff for your writing is bad way to get actual writing done. I’ve been working on building an alien for a sci-fi story idea I had as a kid for over ten years and that’s probably my least-finished draft now. ๐Ÿ˜“

    • Lolol, yeah, worldbuilding can be a pretty terrible rabbit hole that you’ll never be able to come out of. It can be more fun than the actual writing too, which is where the danger’s at. Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I’m sure it’ll be helpful to help others not go down that rabbit hole for too long!

  12. Interesting post. I believe we should not be afraid of reading other authorโ€™s books because of the fear of losing our distinctive voice in the journey. It is very useful in our creative process to learn about different writing styles as these can function as a serious dose of inspiration.

    • Oh yeah, that’s definitely for sure. In fact, you’re losing out if you DON’T read authors from different genres. Totally agree with you. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  13. Ha ha aha ha…I enjoyed this and haven’t taken umbrage at all…lol. We all do all of the above at some time.

    • Lol that’s the best to go about it, really. I think laughing at myself is the only way I ever get to deal with my shortcomings. Also, free content ideas. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by!

  14. Oh my God. And silly me, I was writing and trying to meet deadlines to publish my first novel this year.
    Thanks for those tips that put me back on the path of virtue.

    • Lol listicles for life. I think my next one will be ‘How To Avoid Procrastination’ with tip #1 being ‘Use Your Phone’. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by!

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