A Comprehensive List of Only 10 Writing Tips



Here it is, in no particular order, although the list is numbered (keep in mind, this is all meant to be sarcastic):

1.  Listen to lots of music while writing.  The rhythm of your words should definitely come from an external source rather than from you.

2.  Drink alcohol, at least two glasses of wine and never less than one glass of scotch, because inspiration originates in a bottle.  Or can.  Or whatever.

3.  Read a multitude of bad writing so that you can feel invincible while also lowering your standards.

4.  Read tons of good writing, so that you can feel crushed under the weight of your literary heroes.

5.  Spend several hours determining the best place for you to write, because in the end, it’s the setting that makes the writer doesn’t it.

6.  Write when you’re most tired and are really dragging it, because tired brains make for excellent writing (see this post for an example).

7.  Write something, post it, and spend hours clicking refresh in hopes of praise and admiration instead of getting to some new writing (see this post for an example).

8.  Forget editing, this is a waste of time.  Instead, submit submit submit and drink vodka around a campfire, dancing in a loin cloth as you celebrate your inherent genius.

9.  Make your writing as flowery as humanly possible.  If someone is able to actually find a meaning in your prose or poetry, you’ve done something tragically wrong.

10.  Don’t ever call yourself a writer, otherwise you or someone else may start to believe it.


Dream hard, rage hard.

60 thoughts on “A Comprehensive List of Only 10 Writing Tips

  1. Trent–LOVE THIS! As to #1, I admit I do this sometimes to drown out the noise of my house while I write–it does impact the rhythm/mood, and I am sure NOT in a good way. However, I am guilty of it. Perhaps instead, I should try #2 and #8–they sound like fun.

    1. Yeah, unfortunately, number 8 is a bit all too real for me. I used to love listening to music when I wrote, but found that I was just writing to the music, about the music, but that’s hard when writing is more process-related, less elemental. Now I only listen to music when blogging.

        1. Agreed. Unfortunately, I’m into a severe dubstep phase right now, can’t get enough of the stuff, and it really messes with your ears and thoughts as you try to concentrate. Especially troublesome at work, but where music messes with words for me, it saves my neck at work constantly, else otherwise I’d keel over from boredom.

    1. I highly recommend half a bottle of wine followed by two chasers of Highland Park 15-yo or something. Just enough to get you really moving but not enough to smack you around.

      1. Up here in the north east of Scotland it would be at least a 12 year single malt. The wine would of course be a chateau neuf. However, should these not be available, a bottle of Buckfast tends to set you up for the day, washed down with some Tennants or Special Brew.

        1. Excellent, a person of taste. Okay, I take back the Highland Park. How about an 18-yo Lavagulin? Love it. You know I don’t think I’ve had chateau neuf. Ever had an argentinean malbec? fantastic stuff.

  2. Loved No.7, though I get emails to notify me of any praises.
    Regarding your calling this post “snitty” or “shitty” (not sure which), let me say: you seem to love contradictories, right? Just as this great(and you know it) post is full of contradictories. Nice work, Trent!

  3. Nice. I’m with you on just about all that, except #9. I try to have meaning in my poetry. When people don’t get it, I comment to myself about how deep it is. Whatever works right?

    1. those are the best rules of all. i like where your head’s at pete – break the rules, break em all! and don’t call me cute!

      1. HAHHAHAHHAHHAHHHFHASHDHAS It really is the worst thing a person could say. 🙂 I’m sure you picked up on my tone there too. HAH

  4. Good day! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my good
    old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will
    forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good
    read. Many thanks for sharing!

    1. My pleasure, and thanks for the words. I wrote it tongue-in-cheek, but as with all things, I did so because I actually believe some of this stuff. Say hi to your roommate for me.

  5. re #1: I read your blog while listening to this:


    (Screw embedded youtube vids, and how fancy being able to just click the Magic Play Triangle makes me look. I’ve been doing this for exactly 36 hours, and 14 of those were spent sleeping, 16 were spent entertaining my son and the others were spent… making excuses for being shit at using the site)

    Anyway. Dub – Bristol stylin’. Enjoy.

        1. *ahem* Dudette *coughs*

          These are typically hard to miss. I forget guys tend not to gravitate toward them on the Internet.

          Anyway. Nice to meet you!

    1. Geez, that’s excellent, I just wanted to get up on my chair and rock about until I fell down… thanks for the link. The embed worked for me man.

  6. and of course the comments… 🙂 … yeah i’m addicted to music. sometimes i need music to set the mood coz when that yearning comes to write, to pin down whatever i’ve been feeling, the pressure to get it out becomes too much and i could sit for hours watching the page getting blanker. so set some tunes loose, scribble sounds on the page of my mind and suddenly: the beat matches the heart.

    1. Yeah me too. It’s hit and miss. Sometimes the music takes me out of what I want to say; sometimes, it leads me back to it. I can never really tell when I start writing, it just flows.

      1. exactly. 🙂 sometimes it’s a feeling. sometimes an image that becomes something more. but i think when we “need” the music it is when our souls just need to write.

  7. Fantastic.
    We all can relate and laugh at ourselves(maybe a little too unfairly).
    I found it sad that you had to preface it noting of it’s sarcasm but I’m going to attempt to forgive
    numbnuts today and try that optimism thing I’ve heard so much about.

    1. Love laughing at myself… I can’t take myself seriously. I feel like the world would be better if people laughed a bit more, primarily at themselves. As for that optimism thing… it’s fun.

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