***Disclaimer: The opinions on how to write are the views of Anthony J. Rapino and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Anthony J. Rapino, and if he ever found out, I could kiss my skull goodbye. But really, this is not a serious article. Do not attempt to write at home. In perpetuity.***
Contrary to popular belief, the first step to becoming a writer is not learning grammar, or reading many books, or even writing. The first step is eliminating distractions. The hell of it is, writers are the most easily distracted of all subspecies of humans. It’s a fact. So eliminating all the distractions in your life prior to writing becomes extremely important, if not vital, to the success of your story, novel, or poem.
Friends, Who Needs ‘Em
Alienate your friends immediately. Stop calling them. Turn off your cell phone. Make excuses as to why you can’t make it to their weddings and birthday parties. Believe me, it’s easier this way. You’ll eventually chase every friend out of your life as a natural side effect of being a writer anyway, so you might as well get the ball rolling early. Who wants to hang around with a drunk, egomaniacal, deviant anyway? That’s actually not a rhetorical question. The answer is prostitutes and sociopaths (which, as a writer, you might also be).
Alcohol and Drugs
These are not distractions. Surprisingly, drugs are useful tools in the constant struggle to eliminate said distractions. Having a hard time getting rid of those friends? A bottle of Jack and occasional pill will expedite the process. The thing is, when all you have on your plate for the day is downing beer and pills, it really frees up time for writing (and, occasionally, vomiting).
Now, be sure you understand me. I am not advocating alcoholism and drug use. I’m simply suggesting that being sober every day may impede your writing and cause you to fail miserably.
Jobs are for Losers
Quit your job. They’re for losers. Besides, you’re about to become a best selling author any day now.
If at all possible–and I know it’ll be hard–stay out of jail. Of all the possible distractions, this might be the worst. You’ll spend most of your time trying to avoid being sodomized and shanked, or shanked and then sodomized (if you’re lucky). That leaves no time for writing, I’m afraid.
On the flip side, if jail-time is absolutely unavoidable, make the most of it because once you get out you’ll have lots of exciting and new experiences to put on paper. Once you’ve finished crying and reaffirming your man (or woman) hood that is.
Showering, trimming your nails, getting haircuts, and brushing your teeth all take precious time away from the act of writing. And with no friends and a few hardcore addictions, the point is moot really.
Movies, Television, and Video Games
I bet you think I’m going to tell you to avoid at all costs, right? Wrong. Having cut out nearly all social activities from your life, you’ll need to observe experiences and human reactions somewhere. Enter Netflix instant streaming. You’ve got your PBR, your smokes, your computer. No need to go out. Just pop on the latest Netflix offering and glean what you can while shotgunning that six pack. Then get back to writing.
If you follow these few simple tips, you’re one step closer to becoming a bona fide writer. In our next installment: Conquering the spins.
Photo Credit: Michal Marcol