Writing A Book Tips You Do Not Want To Follow
MY TARGET AUDIENCE
This article is dedicated to those out there who have no desire to succeed in writing a novel. This is not a “Help Me Write A Book” article but rather a “Help Me To Fail Miserably In Writing A Book” article.
I have compiled a list of handy dandy suggestions you might want to follow if you are absolutely terrified of succeeding in this writing world. I know, it sounds unbelievable that there might be writers out there who search for failure, but we can only assume that it is true. Why else would they do the unthinkable? Why else would they be so hell-bent on finding the quickest way to dismal defeat?
So this article is for them
Conversely, if your goal is to write a quality novel, then these tips are ones you might want to avoid like the plague. Call them “Writing Tips In Reverse” or the “Antithesis of Writing A Book Tips.” Hell, call them anything you want; just don’t follow them.
Now that I have you all settled in with an explanation, let us move forward and take a look at tips for writing a book that should or should not be followed, depending on your level of commitment to succeed.
IN SEARCH OF INSPIRATION
I have known quite a few writers, and had contact with many others, who insist on searching for inspiration. Quite often they also talk to me about the current onslaught of “writer’s block” they are experiencing, that strange disease that hits writers and literally freezes them in their tracks, rendering them incapable of writing an intelligent sentence.
They will sit in their garden waiting for inspiration to overcome them. They will trek to Nepal or marry a Sherpa, and they will read self-help books and chant in tongues, all with the worthy goal of finding inspiration. The one thing they don’t do is write.
If you are determined not to succeed, then by all means sit and wait for inspiration. However, if your goal is to write a novel, then may I suggest that you sit your butt down at the computer and start writing. Inspiration is highly overrated; working hard is not!
Set a quota for a certain number of words that you will write each day and then stick to the quota come hell or high water. A funny thing will happen when you do this: inspiration shows up whether you invited it or not.
Change Your Attitude
Positive thoughts produce positive actions and a positive lifestyle. This isn't rocket science folks; you are what you think!
LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE….OR NOT!
We are talking about self-doubt, and if you allow it to infest you then you are doomed as a writer.
There are and have been millions of writers in this world, and each and every one of them, in the final analysis, writes alone. Writing is an incredibly lonely existence. Writers spend a great deal of time inside their own heads, and that is a dangerous place to reside.
If you want to fail at writing, then by all means listen to those voices in your head that say you are not talented, or that you have no business in this business. Once you start listening to those voices it will not be very long before you give up writing that novel.
If, however, you are serious about writing a book, then kick those voices to the curb and write. If you have an overwhelming desire to hear negative words about your book, then wait patiently until it is time to find an agent or publisher. You will get your fill of reasons from them why your book is inadequate. There is no reason to add to that misery by telling yourself how bad your book is. Be your own number one fan and say goodbye to negativity.
PAY ZERO ATTENTION TO THE CRAFT OF WRITING
This is a sure-fire approach if you seek failure. All of those grammar rules? Don’t use them! All of those rules and techniques that have been passed down for generations? Ignore them now!
Go your own way and blaze your own trail in the literary world. You will be embraced by few readers and your book will fail miserably, but you will feel so good that you followed Frank Sinatra’s advice and did it your way.
These are the people who read e.e. cummings and thought it meant that no technique or talent was necessary to make it in the writing world. These are the people who have been rebels all of their lives, and refuse to follow the advice of incredibly successful authors. These are the people who will….fail!
There is a reason why successful writers are successful. If you would like to be successful too, then study the good ones and see what they have done. Ask yourselves what it is about those great writers that made you want to keep reading their words? How did they construct their tale? How did they develop their characters? Study the masters and learn, and remember that there are no shortcuts in writing.
LET EMOTIONS DEFEAT YOUR CAREER
I suspect that besides being creative people, writers are also rather emotional. I think emotions and creativity go hand in hand, and that is all well and good unless our emotions rule the show and then trouble arrives.
If you are tired of chasing the dream, and you want to insure that failure wraps its arms around you, then allow your emotions to dominate your psychological profile.
You know all those rejection slips that you have received from agents and publishers? Get mad and decide they are out to get you, that they have a vendetta against you and you have no chance.
You know that negative comment you received on an article you recently wrote? Take it to heart and let it crush you. Surely the reader knew more than you know in your heart, so just throw in the towel and give up.
If, on the other hand, you are determined to succeed with that novel of yours, then turn off the emotions and realize this is a tough business that requires a thick skin and determination. Rejections are simply a way to motivate you more if you have willingness. Negative comments are a wake-up call that leads to self-reflection and that is never a bad thing.
If you do not like negatives then get out of writing immediately. Give up on that book and take up cooking as a hobby.
Did these suggestions help you?
WRITE FOR THE LATEST TREND
It has been said, and I am a firm believer in it, that by the time you spot a current trend and write about it, the trend will have ended and a new one will have taken its place.
I know a few writers who constantly write to the latest trend. Number one, that must be exhausting, and number two, you are a day late and a dollar short in doing so.
Here’s an idea if you really want to see your novel take off: be a trend-setter rather than a trend-follower.
If you give me enough time, I can write an opening chapter that will sound very much like Hemingway or Michener or Steinbeck. All it requires is an eye for style and the patience to choose the right words.
If you give me enough time, I can write any number of “how to” books that will sound just like the tens of thousands of how to books currently on the market.
You can also give me enough time and I can write a book about a unique subject that is in my unique voice and will have no competition. That is my goal as a writer and that should be your goal as well.
Quit following the crowd and start following your heart….or….just be one of millions of followers and then wonder why your book is not successful. You’ll have a lot of company if that is the route you want to take.
This method is guaranteed to garner you failure at the speed of light. Writing is a craft. If you want to make sure your book fails, treat writing like a part-time hobby and take as many shortcuts as you can. Don’t do an outline! Don’t do re-writes and for heaven’s sake do not edit your work. Do not experiment with different styles and do not put your work out there for critique. If you do not do all these things then I feel safe in saying you are well on your way to experiencing the darkest of holes in the writing business.
Hell, folks, with the advent of ebooks, you can write and publish a book in one day. Why go to the bother of making sure it is quality?
Or, you can treat writing like the art that it is, and spend the time that is required to produce the best possible book. Take a look at some of the giants of the industry and you will find that they spend countless hours, days, months and years perfecting their craft. They took no shortcuts. They understood that anything worth doing is worth doing well.
Never, ever give up
- The Writers' Workshop: Do Not Give Up!
There is a lot of competition out there for writers. This business takes determination, resolve, willingness, and a whole bunch of talent. You cannot give up!
Just throw in the towel for God’s sake, and accept the fact that you will never be a good writer and you were delusional in even trying to be one. Writing is for the strong of will and spirit, and you might as well give it up now. The competition is too tough, the markets are drying up, the publishers don’t want new authors and you will never see success.
There are hundreds of reasons why your new book will not make it. There is only a handful of reasons why it might make it, and they include your determination, your love of writing and your self-esteem. There is no guarantee that if you keep at it you will be successful and have a bestselling novel, but there is most definitely a guarantee that if you give up you will have nothing.
No regrets, no excuses
DID THOSE HELP YOU?
I was being a bit facetious perhaps, but I do believe that my readers and followers can see the truth tucked into my tongue-in-cheek approach.
Writing a book is not for the lazy and it is not for the weak-of-heart. Writing a book is not for those who get discouraged easily and it is not for those who crumble at the first signs of adversity.
Writing a book takes a dedication to the craft of writing and a passion for that craft. In a very real sense writing a book is a job, but it is a labor of love, or at least it should be.
I wish you well as you follow your passion and begin to write the next bestseller.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)