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Writing: How To Be A Writer

Posted on Jan 11, 2014 | 4 comments

How To Be A Writer

1. Write your very first short story. Be sure it is brilliant.
2. Send it to the most prestigious literary magazines in the country. (The New Yorker? Why not?)
3. Receive form rejection letters from every magazine.
4. Scoff at said letters. Think of how stupid those editors will feel when you are on the best-seller lists and have been given the Pulitzer.
5. Revisit rejected manuscript. Realize with horror that it is truly, painfully awful. Wallow in humiliation. Hope editors at most prestigious literary magazines in the country won’t remember this story or your name. Hope they will forgive you for subjecting them to such abysmal prose.
6. Toil.
7. Rework, rewrite, revise, critique. Spend hours refining a single sentence. Throw away pages and pages of pitiful prose. Decide, at long last, that your work doesn’t completely stink.
8. Submit your work again to multiple publications. Worry that they will all want to publish you. Then what will you do?
9. Learn that you needn’t have worried. After months and months and months and months and months of dashing, full of hope, to your mailbox every day awaiting news that you will be published, receive form rejections letters from every journal except the ones that have already gone out of business. Be crushed.

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4 responses to “Writing: How To Be A Writer”

  1. Sarah says:

    YEP! Sometimes I feel like I should be medicated, but then aren’t the crazy ones the creative ones? It’s nice to know everyone feels this way, even Stephen King and Margaret Atwood, too, although I’ve never asked them.

  2. SJ says:

    Hilarious! This nails the feeling…well, for me, all the way up until 31. I’m still looking forward to that one! I especially love #25 – it’s a good reminder for life as a writer and a human. Thanks!

  3. Tom says:

    Good look at the trials and tribulations of the novelist. It ain’t all fortune and interviews on “Fresh Air” or “The Daily Show” I reckon.

  4. Evie says:

    This is funny as well as inspirational.