For some reason there is tangible, touchable, suffocating angst in this air this week. Angst and restlessness and a huge heaping helping of existential crisis thrown in for flavor, all about writing and how to be a writer and what kinds of writers we are and whether writers are better than blogggers (besides, bloggers aren’t real writers anyway) and oh–is that my head that just spun around 60 times and flew off my body, landing in someone’s Chicken Ceasar Salad?
I’ve never seen more posts and comments and essays and tweets about writing from those who don’t always discuss it–is it dead? Do I suck? Do I suck if I don’t have a book deal? Is SEO ruining writing? Shouldn’t I have made it by now? Why does everyone hate me? Is the universe out to get me?
(Yes, yes the universe is out to get you. Haven’t we all learned as much by now?)
I’m no John Irving (and he rocks the ascot far better than I do) but here are a few entirely subjective tips on how to be a writer. Actually, they’re not all that subjective.
Take them as you will.
2. Write more.
3. Stop talking about writing–just write.
4. Don’t spend more than 2 minutes a month upset about someone who writes worse than you and got a book deal. There are more people who write better than you and don’t get book deals, so there. Life is inherently unfair, especially to writers. And you could be using those 2 minutes to write.
5. Find your audience. Maybe it’s not who you think it is. Maybe it’s who you think it is but they’re not where you think they are.
6. If you are a blogger, don’t just follow the blogs of the people you like. Follow the blogs of the writers you like.
8. Read a little bit of bad writing. I won’t link to it; it’s easy to find.
9. Don’t strive to be the next ________. Strive to be the next you.
13. Get off Twitter and fucking write.
27. Ignore the rules.