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Jim Butcher on How to Be a Horrible Writer

Posted by Arthur Gutch on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 @ 03:18 PM

Jim Butcher's bestselling Dresden Files series is at 15 books and counting. A frequent visitor to multiple author conferences across the country, he's always willing to help out a fellow author. When asked to give advice to those beginning their writing careers, Butcher instead gave this tongue-in-cheek advice on going the other way. butcher_terribe_writer_self_publish.jpg

Don't Write All the Time

Because being a full-time author is such a terrible fate, Jim Butcher advises that you never make a habit of sitting down at the keyboard and writing on a regular basis. This is a trap. Do this enough times and you'll suffer the fate of having written a full length novel. This can only lead to more serious habits like hitting your daily word count and working when the muse doesn't strike you.

Never Look for Feedback

It's bad enough to work in a vacuum. Add the influence of feedback from readers and other writers/authors and you'll only make your work more relevant and effective. This pernicious habit tempts you into creating even more words for your fans to critique, which turns around and creates more fans for you to write for. You see? It's a vicious circle! Don't even get started.

Stay Ignorant of the Publishing World and the Demons Who Work There

Oh, sure, go to a convention and they'll seem all charming and helpful, but don't be mistaken: their only purpose in life is to pull you into their evil plans and force you to write for them. Many authors are intimidated by editors, and rightly so! These instincts are there to protect your sanity. Overcome these first inclinations and it might be too late to escape their evil clutches.

Quit and Never Look Back

Writing might seem to be a harmless activity, but it's far from it. If you can't break its hold on you right away, you may be doomed to endlessly tap away at your keyboard, producing book after book, or even series after series. You'll hear yourself mumble that famous promise Just One More Novel, over and over again. Quit! Just say no! The alternative is to live a life as an author, and who would want to do that?

Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!


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