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How Not To Be A Professional Writer

Updated on February 20, 2013

So You Want To Be A Professional Writer?

You dream of giving up your day job. Or you just want to be able to introduce yourself as a writer and have people not snicker. Would be really nice if they already knew you were a writer before you told them.

You want to succeed. You see all kinds of ways to do so, but one thing everyone tells you is that you have to be a professional. You have to act like a professional. So, how about following these simple guidelines to make yourself look like a professional writer?


Respond To Rejections

A rejection is a way of opening dialog, right. Maybe they know somebody else who will love your book as much as you do. Or maybe if you argue enough they'll cave in and buy the story.

If they don't, then why not post their rejection letter to your blog to let everyone know that they're just mean. After all, your readers already know your work is fantastic. Let them know who disagrees with them so they won't go and buy books from that publisher.

You might even get somebody who doesn't like them to buy your book that way. For that matter, when things get really tough and you decide to self publish, you can target people who think big corporations are evil and censor your voice. Which they do.

Respond to Reviews

Ick. You got a bad review. Of course, they're wrong in every particular. And there's that nice comment box at the bottom of the screen. Why not tell them exactly how they're wrong? Them and their readers.

Because, after all, their total misunderstanding of your genius is going to cost you sales and you have the right to defend yourself. You have to make yourself look better and save this utter PR disaster. You might even get into a fun debate with them. It's always entertaining to get into fights on the internet. Especially if somebody brings up politics or religion.

Blame The Industry

So, nobody wants your book. You have this stack of rejections building up and worst of all, they're all forms. Which is okay, you don't want to hear what these horrible editors and agents have to say anyway.

But, hey. It's the industry. Traditional publishing is dying. Everyone says so. The only reason they're not taking your book is because they're only buying books from authors they know can write best sellers. You can write one, but they don't know that. It's impossible for new writers to break in. They only want the established people they know can sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

Or, it's because they're putting all their resources into books by losers like Snooki or that guy who thinks he can sell his memoirs when he's only like 19. Justin Whateverhisnameis. Yeah. Because the stupid people will buy whatever's put in front of them.

There's nothing wrong with your book. It's the industry. Loudly tell everyone so - that's what your book is for.

Bite The Hand That Feeds You

This editor asked you to change so much. She's wrong. You're going to stand your ground and refuse to make the changes. And if she makes you do them anyway, you're going to tell the entire world that they were forced on you.

You had no choice. The mean, evil editor was censoring your voice. While you're at it, you could say a few things about various people who've rejected you. Or you could just walk out on the contract and find another editor who agrees with you more. The book launch party is the perfect time to do this.

Get Plastered At Book Conferences

The open bar was just so tempting. How did you end up in somebody else's agent's room? Or, worse, your own agent's room?

Don't worry about it. Everyone has one too many every so often. And just because you can't remember last night doesn't mean you did anything too embarrassing. Or anyone too embarrassing. And nobody will ever know just how hungover you were the next day.

That video somebody posted to Youtube of you trying to belly dance to Joy To The World absolutely has to be a fake...


Acting like a professional is easy. Real easy. Heck, did I even have to tell you how to do it? I don't think so...but go to town. Be a professional.

It's as easy as one, two...hic...three.


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    • jenniferrpovey profile image

      jenniferrpovey 6 years ago

      I know people in the industry, and they have complained to me about some of the things writers will do. It makes me shake my head. If I'm going to vent about an editor...that's what trusted friends are for.

    • MosLadder profile image

      Chris Montgomery 6 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Funny because it's so true, huh?

    • jenniferrpovey profile image

      jenniferrpovey 6 years ago

      And everything not in the 'drunk' section (I got a bit creative there) is something somebody has actually *done*.

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 6 years ago

      That's actually pretty funny.