I know a lot of people are probably sick of seeing "Top 10" lists of advice that we all think are great when we first read them only to completely ignore 10 minutes later, but hell, that doesn't stop WatchMojo from pumping these lists out, so why should it stop me?
Anyway, this isn't just an ordinary list. This is a bonafide, serious list of only the absolute best writing advice. You don't need to ever read another list again because I've got you covered.
1). Only write when you're moved to write. Why would you want to write when you don't feel like writing? Obviously your best work is going to stem from your most inspired moments, so you should strictly only write when you feel extra inspired. If you don't feel inspired to write, then that makes writing feel like work, and writing should not feel like work. Let the talent-less peasants do all the work. Remember, you're an artist, so you don't have to work, just create mind-blowingly good content on your first try whenever your muse moves you to write, because that's what all the pros do.
2). Don't read. All the time you spend reading will just lead to you comparing yourself to other writers, and you can't have that. No sir, you don't need that type of negativity in your life. Also if you read a lot of books, you might subconsciously copy some of their themes and ideas and integrate them into your own book, so if you want to guarantee that your story is 100% new and original, you should avoid other books and authors at all costs. It just isn't worth the risk. Trust me, you're the chosen one- you were born to be a writer, so if you want to write good content, you will. Don't waste your time reading what other people have done, just make your own!
3). Take all feedback with a grain of salt. I know that a lot of people get all hung up on the whole "reader feedback" thing, but let's be honest- most of these readers can't possibly understand your vision. They aren't artistic geniuses and none of them were born with your writing talent, so none of them could accurately offer anything of substance to your story. The only real reason authors have betas read their work is to hear their work being praised. Anything else is just unnecessary hate, and we don't care what the haters have to say. None of them could do what we do, so don't let them and their scathingly "objective" (that word is just a dog-whistle for other trolls and haters) criticisms get you down. Remember: when in doubt, tune them out.
4). Diversity is important. Some people read books for the story, but the new craze is race and sex. And I'm not talking about The Fast and the Furious movies.
People these days only care about your story meeting a checklist of specific races, genders and sexualities. These include, but are not limited to:
a) At least 7 black people
b) At least 4 Muslim people
c) At least 3 gay people
d) At least one trans person, unless it's female-to-male then it doesn't count
e) At least 5 big-boned (realistically proportioned) women
f) At least one toxic male (to kill off)
g) At least 10 strong female characters
h) At least 20 Mexicans, Spaniards, Hondurans, or other brown people
i) At least one non-human-conforming person
j) At least one person who identifies as Angeligender (Astralgender will also work)
k) At least one M.A.P (minor-attracted-person, just don't call them pedophiles because that's racist)
l) And lastly, it must pass the Bechdel test in at least 14 different scenes.
Not so hard, right? Just be sure to include them all because only a xenophobe would exclude people like that. Try your best to make a good story but remember that diversity is strength, therefore the strength of your story hinges on the diversity of your cast. If you don't have a very large set of characters, you're going to have to be creative. I recommend introducing all of these extra characters via droves of filler content. Just add lots and lots of filler between the plot points and use that time to introduce all of the necessary characters that need representation.
5). Save money, edit yourself. You don't need an editor, you're a professional novelist. If you can write a novel, you can edit a novel too. It's really not that hard. Just turn spellcheck on, fix anything that's highlighted in red (which is probably nothing if we're being honest) and correct them. That's it, that's all you have to do. Why would you shell out hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars to pay someone to do something that you can do in 20 minutes? The whole thing reeks of a Ponzi scheme.
6). Let your twitter do the marketing for you. A lot of websites offer "marketing services," and by that I mean all they do is go around posting your work in places that you could have posted it. Just like with editors, you don't need to pay for marketing unless you're stupid. Just go on twitter and share a link to your website. Your book will speak for itself. It's so good that everyone is going to love it, and you're going to make Stephen King and J.K. Rowling look like amateurs. Once people read your work, you're already predestined for success. All you have to do now is sit back, relax, and wait for the book deals and royalty checks to start pouring in.
7). Use as many similes as possible. Everyone loves a good poet, and nothing is more poetic than similes. Similes are as beautiful as roses during a sunset. If you want some good advice on how to execute similes in the most impressive way possible, read some Cassandra Clare books. Now I know I said earlier not to read, but this is different. That's referring to reading for pleasure. You see, if you read for pleasure, you might accidentally copy other peoples' themes and ideas, but in this case, you're intentionally trying to copy. But don't think of it as copying, think of it as "studying." You didn't copy the Shadowhunter books, just like the Shadowhunter books didn't copy Harry Potter. You were just inspired by them. And everyone loves good similes, otherwise why would Cassandra Clare be so famous? So be sure to make sure that all of your beautiful purple prose is dripping with poetic brilliance, because only the most high-brow and artistic clientele read your work.
8). Take a break. Not feeling inspired? Take a break. Feel kind of tired? Take a break. Feel like playing video games? Take a break. Again, I cannot stress this enough- only write when your muse demands it, otherwise your work will be boring and uninspired. So whenever you just don't feel like working, take a break.
9). Recycle, recycle, recycle. If there's anything I've learned, it's that when people know what they want, they stick to it. Why else do we all get the exact same sandwich every time we go to Subway? Producing new content is always a risk, but once you know what your audience likes, just give it to them. Once you've given them the whole story, just start a spin-off where you recycle the plot of the first story. Use this also as the basis for your "inspiration." And everyone knows that recycled content is the only thing that sells these days. Disney recycles the exact same plot in all of its movies, and it's worth $98 billion. You too could be a 98-billionaire, all you have to do is keep giving people what they want, and never give the crowd anything they haven't already spent money on in the past. Recycling old content is also faster than creating new content, so you can pump out more books per year and therefore make more money.
10). And lastly, start a writing workshop to share what you've learned. After you've done all this, you're pretty much the best writer to have ever lived, and everyone out there could benefit from your experience and literary wisdom. You might be worried that sharing your secrets with others will create competition for you, but fear not, no one is as good as the original. And if you're really that concerned, just peddle them lies and bad writing advice, so that they're essentially paying you to sabotage their writing careers. It's a flawless plan and you should be proud to be the one born into this role. It's a massive accomplishment that only you could have achieved.
may all your cups of tea be your cup of tea,
and I'll see you in the next post.