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 sh—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 and—ugh—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!