From August, 2010, here’s a little reflection on “worst practices” for writers. I admit I’ve been guilty of all of these at one time or another.
Well, maybe not #6…I hate confrontation.
Perhaps it’s time to take a stab at that musical. “Rewrite it once, rewrite it twice, rewriting chicken soup with rice…“
Because you can never be ineffective enough…
1. Be unteachable. Genius is always unappreciated, and the towering lighthouse of your intellect dwarfs the feeble mental candle of your peers. Be not deceived–advice is a thinly-veiled attempt to make you ordinary.
2. Cultivate a thin skin. The only possible reason for others to criticize your writing is jealousy, plain and simple. You must not tolerate the faintest breath of disapproval. Unleash divine wrath upon all who dare abuse the precious children of your mind.
3. Pay no attention to detail. Your prose was meant to soar on eagles’ wings! Hobbling it with the shackles of punctuation and repressive grammatical rules is the mark of a soulless conformist.
4. Imitate the current fad. You can’t argue with success. No, that’s not conforming, it’s being realistic.
5. Obsessively rewrite your work. It’s soooo pretty, but it can be even prettier if you polish it just a little bit more! Even if no one else ever reads it, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that nothing less than perfection ever entered the world with your name on it.
6. Demonize publishers who reject your stories. They’re The Man, and The Man just wants to keep you down. Vent your spleen on Twitter, Facebook, Farmville, and their inbox. Better yet, show those Neanderthals you’re the Cro Magnon of literature. Start a revolution! Self-publish! Exercise your God-given right to Habits 1 through 5! Power to the People!
7. Find a community of Highly Ineffective Writers and hang out with them. They may be the only people in the world who truly understand you. Permit them to bask in the warm sunshine of your wisdom.
Coming soon, Chicken Soup With Rice for the Highly Ineffective Writer–The Musical!