What can I say? I’m a contrarian. This is probably how I’m going to write my “how to write” book. It will be negatory, plus full tilt reductio ad absurdum. Erk. WP just corrected my Latin. Oh noes!
Step #1: Don’t write anything down.
Ooops, see, you already failed. When you go to writers groups (don’t go to writers groups, and by ALL MEANS do not meet your fellow writers) listen to everything you are told. If they criticize you? Believe it and stop writing. IF they praise you? Stop, because obviously you are the bestest in the universe and don’t have to add any more. Oh– and trust NO ONE. Yep, see told ya. Do not go looking for those people whose comments you can trust, or those rare stars whose friendship make it all worth while. Just don’t do it. Because, then you might keep writing when all seems lost and the world is dark and you don’t want to go outside because… well, your hair, and the house, and…
Do not listen to those voices in your head. Especially the ones that tell you such great stories. Especially the ones that make you laugh, cry, want to throw things,cower in fear and especially not those who make your inner 14 year old go, “Man that’s so cool!*”
Do not read or listen to elders about relatives who did nifty things, or died tragically, or survived against impossible odds. Do not collect stories from history in a scrap book. Do not EVER take notes. Before you know it, you’ll be writing again… then where will you be? Research is a cardinal no-no. Especially if you have to stop because you have to start writing again. Close your eyes and crank up the iTunes when the aliens invade your home town. Don’t talk to anybody about ideas. Don’t even THINK about interesting people.
Always maintain a constant rate of inebriation that totally prevents you from writing anything. Always put off eating, taking care of yourself, and taking time to think. Hang out constantly with the people who kill your soul. Okay, so you have to do that anyway for your day job. But let them soak in. Don’t write about them. Just don’t. It might be… cathartic. And catharsis is just another road to that dastardly writing.
You MUST get caught up in fiddly details and spend hours looking up things that never had anything to do with your book. Just keep repeating to yourself… the book does not exist. There IS no book! And… ooops, that made you start writing again, didn’t it?
Then again, maybe you shouldn’t. Those could spawn other ideas, and then… lo and behold, you’ll be back to writing again, gnashing teeth and feeling awful because those fingers just won’t stop walking on that keyboard…
Ooops. Too bad. I guess it’s inevitable. Good luck publishing your book.