The Seven Habits of Successful Writers

From Writer Unboxed:

  1. Write every day. The more you write, the better you’ll get.
  2. Go to a prestigious creative writing program. These programs are competitive and costly, but you’ll get to hone your craft and make connections that will benefit you your life long.
  3. Get rich and famous before you start writing. Having the finances and social capital to quit your job will free up so much of your mental energy. Having the financial freedom to take exotic vacations and party like it’s 1999 will give you so many stories to tell.
  4. Cultivate a love of reading when you’re still a child. This one will be more difficult for those of us who are already adults, but some of the best writing advice I’ve ever gotten was that if something is important to you, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. If you first fell in love with the written word when you were ten, see if you can make it happen by age nine.
  5. Have at least one parent who is a successful author. Our parents are our first mentors, teaching us life lessons and passing on the benefits of their wisdom without the pain of their mistakes. If your parents are famous authors themselves, that will give you a huge advantage in your own career. Talk to your folks about their literary aspirations and see if they’d consider changing careers from motel manager or retiree to having been a literary darling since age twenty-six.

Link to the rest at Writer Unboxed

The OP is a little snotty, but it’s definitely not conventional advice.

2 thoughts on “The Seven Habits of Successful Writers”

  1. I do remember being surprised when I learned Corey Doctorow and E.L. Doctorow are in no way related to each other. I just figured, with an uncommon name like that, they were.

  2. I read the actual article, and it is clearly an attempt at humor.

    I pity anyone who actually lived the life that the OP talks about. They would be so trapped in living up to the expectations attached to them that they would utterly fail to even try.

    I’m halfway through J. Michael Straczynski’s memoir, Becoming Superman.

    – Warning, do not read the book unless you have a strong constitution and are at peace with your own struggle.

    I’m not kidding. His life was so brutal.

    Harvests the book sample and if you can read that, move forward, but know that the brutality does not abate that much until about halfway through the book.

    I remember reading Dean Koontz being that poor with messed up parents. Harlan Ellison as well. Then Stephen King talking about being that poor. All of that and they were able to write amazing stuff.

    His story puts everything into perspective. Life is stranger than fiction.


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