I’ve been working on being a writer for a while now and I realized that there are certain things I do that make me feel like I am going to be more successful at writing than if I just sat at home and actually worked on writing down words and creating things. And while I do believe that there is a writing career in my future, I realize that isn’t for everyone. But you know what could be for everyone? Pretending to be a writer. It’s super easy and it makes people think that you are really smart and have important things to say. And so I have decided to take some time out of my busy life and show you all how you can look as cool as I do (without ever actually putting in any time writing).
First of all, it is important that you do all of your “writing” in a public space. I recommend coffee shops. I know, this isn’t groundbreaking. We have all seen people who are public writing. I mean, I am writing this in a Starbucks as we speak! This is an incredibly important step because it shows everyone that you are serious about writing. If you weren’t serious, you would be sitting in your house writing where no one sees that you are writing, therefore not expressing to the world your intensions. If you don’t actually want to do any writing, make sure to find a table in the corner of a café or with your back to a wall so that people around you can’t see your screen. This gives you a lot of freedom to do other things, such as playing a video game or watching Netflix. If you are just watching TV, though, make sure that you are pretending to type so people don’t get suspicious.
Step two involves spending a little bit of money: you need to start collecting notebooks. The more the better. Every time you walk into a bookstore, make sure to ask the employees if they have any notebooks. Look at their entire selection and make sure to make sound effects to let everyone around you know that some of them are not up to your great writer standards. A piece of advice: Moleskins are always a good, solid choice. All writers, or at least people trying to look like writers, love them and will usually ask for the brand by name. Now, it’s also important that you make sure to collect notebooks in all different sizes so that you have different ones to carry around for different situations. Make sure to have a small one that will fit into a purse or pocket that you can have with you all the time. When you are going to a coffee shop, a larger notebook works well. Just place it next to your computer while you are pretending to work to help with the illusion. When you are sitting in a park or waiting for the train, holding a medium sized notebook can make people think that you have big ideas that you will really need to get down right away when they come. A medium sized notebook works better than a small one for this because it makes people believe that you have too many thoughts to be held in a small notebook. Only a medium sized notebook will be big enough for your genius. In your house, make sure to put all of your notebooks on a shelf in a common space like the living room so that visitors can see them when entering your home. Remember, this is all about appearances and if you don’t display your notebooks, it could break the illusion the second you have guests over.
Step number three does not involve you spending any money. In order to be a famous writer, you must, and this is an absolute must, complain about your childhood. What if you had a great childhood? Too bad. Make something up. Borrow from movies or TV shows or books you’ve read. People have to believe that you have suffered from a young age. Remember when your parents and grandparents would tell you that they used to have to walk a mile uphill in the snow in both directions? That was a lie. If they can come up with a good lie like this that made you believe that they had it hard as kids, you can too. You can always spin what you remembered to be good experiences to make them sound bad. Did your parents give you a lot of freedom as a child? Say that they were absent and didn’t care about you enough to give you boundaries. Did you go camping a lot together? Say that you were too poor to ever go on a real vacation and all vacations were spent sleeping on the hard ground. It doesn’t matter what you say as long as your life seemed hard.
And finally, the most obvious thing you have to do to seem like a famous writer: drink a lot. This, as with step number one, must be done in public or at least around other people, even if it is only a few close friends. The world must know that your life is hard and writing and drinking are the only way to release all of the feelings you’re having. Make sure to name drop famous authors who also drank heavily. Comparisons to Hemingway will immediately make people think about your writing in a much more impressive light (even if you haven’t actually written anything). This is also a great time to put step number 3 into action. Tell those sad childhood stories while drinking and they will sound even worse. And it will lead people to believe that you started drinking because of your childhood, which makes you seem even more like a great writer.
Once people start seeing you in this way, they might start asking you when your book is coming out. Just remind them that there is no rushing great art. Remind them that Ezra Pound took 52 years to write The Cantos and it was still unfinished. You can’t rush genius. And I promise you that if you pull off this charade, you are, my friend, a genius. Just maybe not actually a literary one.