1. Do not, under any circumstances, attend a creative
writing course, retreat, or evening class. These are for
mentally disturbed people, whose close proximity may
cause you to become depressed.
2. Read like a mother-fucker. Anything from advanced
Arithmetic to Astrophysics. Read all the greats of literature
as they will teach you a good deal. Do not read any current
bestsellers. This type of book can do serious damage to the
creative soul of any budding artist.
3. Do not listen to the opinions of anyone who works in the
publishing industry. These freaks don’t know what the fuck
they are doing. They must be ignored at all times and often
derided for their stunning ignorance of what constitutes a
writer. This includes all editors, literary agents, slush-pile
flunkies, and the PA girl whose father is rich and her
mother good-looking, but is as thick as two short planks.
4. Never ever plagiarise, but do steal. Theft in literature is
5. Write every single day for a solid ten years. After that do
what the fuck you like.
6. Do not expect to earn any money whatsoever.
Harbouring such a delusion can only end in tears.
7. Do not be overly influenced by any writer you may or
may not admire, including me, in fact especially me. This
will lead to imitation, which is to be avoided at all costs.
8. Be afraid, very afraid of academics and academia. This is
a one way route to complete and utter failure as an
artist. Thou hast been warned.
9. Live a little. Travel the world, get out of the comfort
zone, take a trip to the edge, shoot a man in reno,
consume a mountain of drugs, get boozy all the time, as
drink brings luck to a writer, take part in an orgy, fuck both
sexes in the arse, howl at the moon, one arm waving free,
the other holding a bottle of wine, swim naked in the
ocean, go dancing, sleep out under the stars, go a
wandering, climb a volcano, sing rebel songs into the long-
lost night, watch a sunrise, sunset, cloud view… Get the
freaking idea, fuckers?
10. Last, but not least. Don’t try.
Joseph Ridgwell can be found here: http://insearchofthelostelation.wordpress.com/
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