I’m continuing with my list of toxic crap writers shouldn’t do, courtesy of Chuck Wendig’s terrific blog post. If you haven’t yet, please skip on over to read his, because it really is right on the money. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/01/03/25-things-writers-should-stop-doing/?subscribe=success#blog_subscription-2
I have renewed enthusiasm and vigor now. The kids are back in school and, wait—can you hear that? You can’t? Exactly. It’s called peace and quiet, and my sanity depends on it. As does my writing.
8. Your body is not a teenage wasteland. Sure, you could once get away with staying up until 3 am, chowing down on pizza while guzzling cheap beer, but nowadays whenever I do exactly that, it takes me 3 days to recover and I feel like hell to boot. Disciplined Mind = Disciplined Body = Disciplined Mind, which essentially means if you’re sitting in your chair like a lump on a log, with your mind fuzzy and tired, how productive do you think you’re going to be? Not very, plus you’ll get Writer’s Ass. Eating crap and not being active will result in all those words that should be flowing onto the page to settle in your ass, instead.
9. If I didn’t complain, I’d have nothing to say. I’ll admit part of my endearing charm comes from my pessimistic, glass is half-cracked attitude. Can you imagine if I were a boring optimist? I’d have nothing to blog about. I know I could temper my negativity a tad. In fact, I’ve actually been trying, thanks to Facebook and all the warm and fuzzy inspirational quotes on there that make me want to go hug my cats. Yes, I’ve lost a few friends from my bad attitude (“I say FUCK ‘EM all the way to the moon if they can’t—” Uh oh, deep breath. I digress.) The point is, if you don’t have anything good to say, then STFU. Nobody wants to hear it. Or channel it into your writing and make a million dollars so you can rub it in the faces of all those frenemies who once rejected you. As I always say, Success is the best revenge.
10. Speaking of…it’s because of those frenemies that you’re in the sorry boat you’re in. Or it’s because of your parents. Most likely, your parents. Part of the job description of being a parent is to get blamed for everything that’s wrong by your kid; it’s why I’m saving for my son’s therapy, instead of his college. However, the first rule of therapy is to stop blaming everyone, especially one’s parents for one’s crappy life. I tried blaming Facebook for my woes, then Amazon, if for no other reason than they’re just so huge and successful. Then I tried blaming the inventor of Post-its, because had I thought of the idea first I’d be huge and successful, but in the end, Meh, blaming doesn’t do a rat’s ass bit of good.
11. Be the writer’s version of Madonna or Justin Timberlake. So what if my father wanted me to become a doctor or a lawyer and has disowned me because I’m not one? Had I listened to him, right now I’d be an overachieving, perfectionist anorexic with fake breasts and Botoxed lips who drinks too much and can’t hold a relationship together due to fear of intimacy. Thank goodness I’m only one of those. I’m proud to be a writer, and I tell everyone who’ll listen. Madonna’s not the greatest singer in the world. Did it matter? Nope, but she had passion and complete originality in everything she did. Is JT embarrassed to admit he was in a boy band, with a gazillion teeny-boppers screaming his name every day? I’m guessing his bank account says NO. Everybody has to start somewhere, so get your name out there and shout it loud and clear.
12. Everyone makes mistakes. Sigh. Some more than others. According to my “therapy” sessions on Facebook, you’re supposed to learn from them. Or at least that’s what those square-shaped inspirational quotes with the rainbows say. You wanna know my biggest mistake? Not learning how to type! There, I said it. That’s right, I’m a writer and I don’t know how to type. Oh, the stupid irony. So, other than that mistake kicking me in the rear each and every day, I suppose I should let all the other mistakes go so I can move on (to type slowly).
13. I may not take risks like I used to, like riding on the back of a motorcycle going 120 without a helmet, or traveling alone through Southern Italy, but you don’t get huge rewards playing it safe, either. That’s why I go to Target on a regular basis and shove one of my bookmarks for The Accidental Cougar in the center of each bestselling romance there. Think outside the box. It’s the only way to get noticed. Or arrested, but we’re trying to think positive here.
14. Embrace your control freak and then kick him/or her out of bed for eating crackers. I’ll admit I’m a control freak, but that’s only because nobody else can do things the way they need to be done. That’s why I don’t let my son wash dishes or clean the bathroom. When it comes to reviews though, or the collapse of traditional publishing, or e-book piracy, I could care less. There’s nothing I can do about it, so why stress? There’s soooo many more things to stress over within my control, like Writer’s Ass and getting caught by security at Target.
15. Unless you’re obsessive-compulsive, variety really is the spice of life. You can choose to write only novels your entire life, or poetry, or a sex column, but I’ve noticed that the writers today mix it up. If they’ve written a novel, then they usually try to get an article published somewhere to promote that book. Well-known magazines pay ridiculous amounts of money, and also give the opportunity to exercise a whole different set of skills. Diversity is the name of the game. In all areas of life.
Nope, I’m not done yet. There’s 25 of these bad boys…