69 Ways to Become a Paranoid Writer

Written by on August 9th, 2016 // Filed under Encouragement & Philosophy, Erika Viktor, Uncategorized, Writing Advice

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1. Go to the bookstore and see what’s popular now. Write that.

2. Agent stalk via Google. Believe they are the father/mother who never loved you.

3. Read stories about people you have never heard of getting six-figure deals.

4. Believe in six-figure deals.

5. Wait to be picked.

6. Wait a bit longer.

7. Go to writer’s conferences and approach the keynote speaker. Try to make a good impression. When they reject you, cry all night in your hotel room.

8. Go to writer’s conferences.

9. Tell lots and lots of people about your book. Let their apathy or open disdain sit on your heart.

10. Believe platitudes spun by editors about not using adjectives and adverbs and never using slant rhyme.

11. Wait a bit longer.

12. Google stalk editors. Feel rejected by them already.

13. Wait endlessly for your agent to get back to you.

14. Keep finished works tightly locked in drawers.

15. Believe that writing is your identity.

16. Believe that your writing is incredibly important.

17. Listen to podcasts by non-selling writers who “know how it is.”

18. Labor over each sentence.

19. Believe that sentences are important.

20. Tell non-readers about your ambitions at dinner parties. Feel crushed when they treat you like a five-year-old.

21. Wait even longer. The agent will surely call. Surely.

22. Submit to one place at a time “just in case.”

23. Compare yourself to god-like and unattainable successes like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and Stephanie Meyer.

24. Write about ethnicities, genders and cultures that don’t interest you in order to follow trends.

25. Frown upon self-publishers, even if they are making monthly income.

26. Show people your writing before it’s ready.

27. Expect your friends and family to read your 600-page novel. When they don’t, hate them forever.

28. Believe the praise.

29. Believe the rejection.

30. Freak out when your main character appears  in the latest blockbuster hit.

31. Do a writing MFA program at UC Berkely.

32. Write only when the mists of serenity descend gently and cozily upon you.

33. Believe that anyone, especially editors and agents, can tell the future.

34. Believe you can write the next great thing and then crumble daily under the pressure.

35. Write about things you don’t care about.

36. Worry your not young enough, cool enough, ethnic enough, good enough, rich enough, poor enough.

37. Refuse to market until you are “ready.”

38. Wait for your spouse/lover to care.

39. Keep repeating your successes to your friends. Wonder why they stop calling.

40. Believe in the red carpet.

41. Cultivate the practice of perfecting each sentence as you go.

42. Refuse to write crap.

43. Refuse to write less-intelligently.

44. Refuse to write plainly.

45. Believe in your own specialness.

46. Believe in other people’s specialness.

47. Believe in such things as original ideas.

48. Track rejections.

49. See writing as the panacea to all past playground bullying, rejection and lack of love.

50. Plan a six-part book series before you write one word.

51. Believe anyone outside the writing world cares about agents, bidding wars and contracts.

52. Facebook stalk your ex and see how successful/happy they are and how much they have achieved in other fields. Merrily compare.

53. Listen to interviews and try to recreate the path other writer’s have walked.

54. Cultivate an addiction.

55. Refuse to fail.

56. Join writer’s groups where negativity and inaction are rewarded.

57. Come up with an elevator pitch and perfect plot before you write a single word.

58. Endlessly check stats, friend counts, follows, likes. Believe these numbers matter a great deal. Brag about them a lot.

59. Believe your byline, residuals and best-seller list status is the true measure of your moral worth and character.

60. Reject the idea that luck and favorable circumstances are the true arbiter of our fortune.

61. Believe in the almighty “New York” of everything.

62. Equivocate.

63. Rewrite your novel for ten years.

64. Believe you are immune to the misfortune experienced by other writers including orphaned contacts, dropped series, marketing neglect, agent abandonment and failure to pay as per contract.

65. Take short cuts.

66. Fail at relationships in order to succeed at writing.

67. Believe in finally “making it.”

68. Cultivate a healthy cynicism.

69. Wait a bit longer.


One Response to “69 Ways to Become a Paranoid Writer”

  1. Oh man! I am so guilty of like half of these ha haha! I had to laugh about the agent stalking one. I feel like a total creep and you are right, all this stuff just makes us paranoid and crazy. I wish you would do a list on how to be a healthy writer!

    Thanks, I’m gonna pop over to Wattpad and check out your stories. You go girl!!

    Posted by Fiona Spielring1Reply

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