WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE AHEAD
Becoming a successful writer is something many of us aspire to. We write, read, and share our work like crazy in order to reach this seemingly unattainable state of grand ascension that is being a “real” writer. But, what is it exactly that makes one a successful writer in the first place?
Is it fame, fortune, notoriety, the envy and adulation of our peers, or simply being able to pay the bills that makes one successful at this game called writing? Personally, I believe it’s just being able to make a living by doing what you enjoy. Everyone is different of course. And this means many won’t consider themselves a success until they achieve everything listed above.
Whatever your idea of being a successful writer is, you won’t get there by being a lazy dope. You need to take some damn action and own your life. Stop pussyfooting around and make your dreams come true. But this can’t just be achieved through effort, you need a plan—a path to reach your end goal.
In order to do this, you need some tips on the right ways to go about things. So, here are five tips on helping you become a successful writer once and for all.
5. Read and Write Everyday
You’d think this would be common sense for an aspiring writer, but it’s quite amazing how fucking lazy people can be. Instead of picking up a book to read by an achieved author, a lot of people will forgo learning from the master wordsmith and simply melt their brains by partaking in mindless “entertainment.”
A master writer is an accomplished reader. You can’t expect to become great at the craft of writing if you aren’t learning different styles through reading. It’s such an important step in developing your own style and techniques.
And speaking of not skipping steps, you should never skip a writing session. The most successful authors write damn near everyday—always making sure they keep a strict writing schedule. Don’t fall into the “I’ll just do it in a little bit” routine. It’s far too easy for “in a little bit” to turn into “wildly masturbating and falling asleep.”
4. To Hell With Everyone Else
What in the overly emotional teenage emo kid screaming at his parents does this have to do with writing? Well, it’s simple really. This means you shouldn’t write for others. Or rather, you should be writing for yourself as a means to unleash the never-ending ideas circulating through your brain.
Yes, we write for others to read. But is that why we get into writing in the first place? I’d say for most, we get into it as a way to express ourselves. A child, ham-fistedly scribbling a nonsensical story with a crayon isn’t doing it for the gratification of others. No, they do it because it makes them happy.
For some reason though, when we grow up we lose this pure passion for creation, and replace it with the need to please others with our work. Now, you obviously need others to enjoy your work if you’re going to become successful, but you shouldn’t write with the sole intention being to make others like what you’ve written.
That might sound kind of dumb, but it’s the truth. Some of the best pieces of classic literature were lambasted by the critics. Hemingway was criticized for his simple vocabulary and direct, to the point narration style. Did he change how he wrote to appease everyone else? No, he told them all to rightly fuck off and continued writing how and what he wanted to.
This attitude netted him the damn Pulitzer Prize for a story about an old man by himself on a boat. Come on now, do you think he would have written that if he listened to what others had to say about his writing?
He’s not the only famous writer with this attitude either. James Joyce wrote the impossibly complex and hard to read masterpiece Finnegans Wake over a period of 17 years. During those 17 years, nearly everyone hated the work he was putting out. Even after the book was officially released, it was damn near universally panned. Now, it’s considered to be one of the best pieces of literature ever written. This wouldn’t be so if he gave up and listened to what everyone else was saying.
3. Write in a Vacuum
One problem many writers have is distraction. We all suffer from it every now and then; some worse than others. There’s an easy cure for this ailment though, (easy for some) all you need to do is lock yourself away in a designated writing zone.
This zone can be in a quiet room: bathroom, attic, filthy sex dungeon. Or this zone could just be somewhere your comfortable: cafe, park, disgusting used dildo shop. Everyone has a different place where they can banish distraction to the side and get some work done.
It’s absolutely vital to the writing process to—well—write. No matter where you feel most productive, the important thing is to get to that place and work. Make going to a certain spot for writing a routine, and eventually it will become a productive habit. Meaning, every time you find yourself in this specific place, you’ll automatically get into the writing mood.
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