Ever wanted to be a totally ineffective author?
Ever wondered what makes a truly ineffective author, well, ineffective?
FIVE HABITS OF HIGHLY INEFFECTIVE AUTHORS
1) Limit your writing time to those moments when you are seized by a great burst of inspiration that bathes you in a golden light of free flowing creativity. These moments, when the words seem to flow from your very finger tips, may only strike a few days out of every month. Or a few minutes in every day. Or perhaps once or twice in a lifetime. But if you are patient and wait for lightning to strike, you'll finish your novel in no time. Assuming you are immortal.
2) Always seek feedback from whoever is close by. Don't matter who. Especially if these people don't read books as a general rule and had a fondness for their own opinions. I have used this system for years and it never fails. It also helps if the people you turn to for feedback get a slight glaze of the eyes when you start talking about your manuscript. This is a great sign as it means their thoughts on your writing will have all the weight of a disinterested bystander. Allow these armchair experts to advise on plot points and character and even title names. Then adjust your literary creation accordingly.
3) Only write about what you know. It is essential that you limit your fictional creations to the strict parameters of your own personal experience. If you are a postal worker with a slight limp and an enormous stamp collection, then write about that. And only that. Try whenever possible to block out the rumblings of your imagination for it will only lead you astray. If you find yourself distracted by sudden bursts of invention and flights of fancy your work will begin to take on the dangerous glow of rich imagination. This is not advisable as it will only encourage your readers to look beyond themselves and image other lives and other worlds. Which is beastly.
4) Always follow publishing trends - they will never fail you. Any writer worth their salt will tell you that when it comes to selecting the story you wish to tell, always consider the latest literary craze and then chase it slavishly. Whether it's vampires or wizards or housewives who kill, if it sells, mimic it. This will have the glorious effect of harnessing your creativity and then violently bashing it into the shape of books that are already published. And the best part is that this method never fails - follow a trend and you will be richly rewarded. Unless that trend is already over. In which case you must sit still and wait for the next trend to come. Whatever you do, don't try and get ahead of the trend. That is madness. For there is nothing so undesirable as genuine originality.
5) As soon as you sell your first manuscript begin to make major life decisions - especially of the financial variety. Do not wait and see how your book fairs in the market place. Do not wait until you have a multi-book commitment from an eager publisher. Act now. Quit your job and do it in such an unpleasant fashion that there is no chance of your ever being welcomed back. Buy that house - do not stop until you are mortgaged up to the eyeballs. Distance yourself from any family or friends who might be unsuited to your new life as a fabulously successful author. Cut anyone from your life who suggests you proceed with caution. These people are fools who do not understand that there are few things in life more dependable and assured than the publishing industry. A book contract is an iron clad guarantee that your struggles are over and that your life from that moment on will be blissfully assured and endlessly stable.