Rules for Writing: #5

Rule #5:  Inspiration is for douchebags, dipshits, pansies, and others who thought the Iowa Writers’ Workshop would keep them off welfare somehow.

So today, some gasbag was allowed to post some longwinded claptrap about a connection between the I.W.W. (see words above) and the C.I.A. on The Chronicle for Higher Education (www.chronicle.com).  What the hell was I doing there, you ask?  I was looking for education, but what I found was just dumb…

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that life has given you a need for writing, and that if you were truly meant to do it, you must feel genetically, physically, mystically, or divinely compelled to do so.  This is bullshit, and you need to do some pushups.  More importantly, remember that nobody cares, because they don’t read anyway…

What the real #5 consists of is the following:  Discipline.  You, your life, and writing will never amount to anything without discipline.  Writing, for those who are either meant to do it or just want to do it, regardless of innate ability or pure need to suffer, is work, that dirtiest of dirty fucking words.  Work, work, goddamned fucking work.  If you’re doing it right, writing will make you cuss at the wall, because you’ll know that if things are going easily and smoothly like diarrhea after strong coffee, you’re fucking up.

What will people like John D. MacDonald, Ernest Hemingway, or William Faulkner tell you for advice (aside from “don’t die!”)?  Bust yo’ ass, bitches!  There’s that, and the fact that writing, whether it pays or not, can always be sponsored by your favorite drink.

So maybe the real #5 is this:  motivation.

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