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How to be a Writer

(A215 Activity 8.6 Writing in the Second Person. Part 2)
Instructions in the second person about how to be a writer (intimidating or satirical)

1. Write before you have woken up. You must do this even if you are paralysed. You cannot be a writer if you do not do ‘Morning Pages’.

2. Do an observation of your surroundings Do not check emails, listen to the news, eat or use the toilet. Ignore human functions and the outside world. You cannot be a writer if you do not do an observation of your surroundings

3. Read. Read a whole book every day. Tolstoy, Dickens, Jane Austin, Nelson Demille, Jilly Cooper, Barbara Cartland, Katie Price AKA Jordan. Read some good stuff and some bad stuff and always go to bed with a book. Do not have a relationship with your partner. You cannot be a writer unless you read constantly.

4. Do a haiku every day. You cannot be a writer unless you do a haiku every day

5. Do a mind map and/or a freewrite before you start writing seriously. Whatever you do, if you get a good idea, don’t go with it. Stop. Make yourself do a freewrite on the topic and then go mad. Draw out all the most painful and awful parts of your life – your filthiest secret desires, most painful bereavements, most embarassing secrets and let free your wildest and most murderous thoughts. Don’t stick to the point. Lose the plot. If you have a constant theme you’re doing it wrong. Share share share your basest, dirty, rotting, necrophiliac, debauched, immoral cravings and your weirdest obsessive, compulsive habits with your tutors and your publishers and your editors! They want your innermost debauchery and phobias, your traumas and your criminal minds!!! Now write your short story in exactly 2,200 (and stick to it) words based on your freewrite. You cannot be a writer if you can’t learn to follow rules and word restrictions.

6. Shut yourself away and listen to the voices in your head. Turn off the radio and the TV. Ignore your family and do not be influenced by real life and conventionality. This will not make good reading. You cannot be a writer if you are conventional.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rosie #

    ….but remember – DO NOT WRITE FOR CHILDREN.

    Loved this post, made me smile 🙂


  2. Louisa Lemon #

    7. Never, ever write for children. You cannot be a ‘writer’ if you write for children. Thanks Rosie


  3. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Love it!


  4. This is scarily along the lines of what I came up with! 🙂


  5. Shannon #

    Oh, now I know where I’ve been going wrong.
    Thanks for that. I needed a giggle after writing nearly 10,000 words of utter rubbish the last two days.


    • Louisa Lemon #

      Ah ‘National Nonsense Writing Month’ Shannon?! Hope you’re enjoying it


  6. Just posted mine on my site too Louisa – so thanks for sharing yours! I wrote mine incidentally on exactly the same day – when it was snowing here… and posted it on my tutor forum and on the main First-Class Café but only just felt brave enough to put it on my ôwn site (which I’ve thoroughly neglected since I set it up in November due to Creative Writing course…) until today. I still feel that mine was a bit mercnenary however…
    Loved this!
    keep going…


  7. Jen #

    Oh dear. This is quite possibly the best advice I’ve ever read. Love it, ta for the giggle.



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