Monday, August 20, 2012

Really Bad Writing Advice: Worst Tips Ever - When to Write

Being sadly short on the kind of blatantly idiotic questions that inspire really bad writing advice, I have taken to generating dreadful tips.

Follow these tips scrupulously, and soon I will be the only novelist on earth and it won’t even matter if my rewrite has gaping holes in the so-called plot because everyone will be so desperate for a book.

1.) Write only when you’re inspired.

2.) Write only when you have finally saved up enough to purchase an ergonomically perfect chair. In leather. From Sweden.

3.) Write only when you’re not tired.

4.) Write only when you have found the exactly right software to organize your every word. It’s out there somewhere. Keep looking.

5.) Write only when your children, husband, and dog are asleep.

6.) Write only when your house is immaculate. Dirty dishes and unmade beds are a terrible distraction. How can you write when you ought to be vacuuming?

7.) Write only when you’re not tempted to surf the internet. If you want to surf the net, it means your head isn’t in your book anyway.

8.) Write only if your have the perfect outline. Rework that outline. Is it perfect yet? I didn’t think so.

9.) Write only if you have carefully revised every word that you’ve already written.

10.) Write only if you have a womb that has produced children. OK, this is a shocker coming from me, big opponent of the mommy wars, but if you haven’t read the world’s least charitable obituary post on Maeve Binchy in The Telegraph, don’t write until you’ve seen it. Don’t write until you’ve scanned any number of online newspapers for disturbing articles; the adrenaline rush will help you write faster. Should you ever write.

Here’s the article: Don’t quit before the last line. You’ll write so fast.


  1. Brilliant!
    I recognise every ploy.
    Hope you enjoy being the loneliest writer on earth!