You see, writing isn't just as simple as sitting down and writing. No, that would be far too easy. Writing is a long, technical process that involves a myriad of rituals and preparation so as to show the world that I am writing a novel and it's serious business, you guys. So here we go.
Step 1: Put on your writerly facial hair. Every writer needs to have classy facial hair. Even women.
Step 2: Put on some writerly clothes. You really need to look the part.
Whoa, whoa, scale it back, there. We said writer, not hipster douchebag.
Ah, much better. Writers (for some reason) always have elbow patches, and as we all know a true writer is one who is dressed in such a way that you can never truly tell if they're homeless or a writer. Or both.
Step 3: Buy yourself a really fancy pen or two. Spend at least $50 on each to demonstrate that you're really putting some investment into your career as a writer.
Step 4: Now put it immediately in your pocket, because writers don't write with pens anymore, dumbass. That would be stupid.
Step 5: You're officially ready to begin. Take some time to step outside of your comfort zone and flesh out a unique character that you can breathe some life into.
If you've ever noticed that practically every novel ever written features a main character that's almost identical to how the writer is or just wishes they were, including the character being a writer (we're looking at you, Stephen King), that's because ideas are hard and sometimes it's best to just write what you know. That's not ego. It's just novel writing efficiency. Use this to your advantage.
Step 6: Wow, okay, this has been a lot of work so far. And cost a lot of money. You should probably treat yourself to a break. You know, play some video games, or surf the web for a few hours. Or a few days. You earned it, tiger!
Step 7: Make character sheets for all of your characters. Include things like height, weight, eye color, hair color. Likes, dislikes. Astrological sign. Allergies. Celebrities they'd probably be played by in the movie version. This shit matters. Also, feel free to exercise those killer drawing skills of yours and illustrate exactly what they look like.
Step 8: Draw an intricate map of your novel's world... even if it's not a fantasy story. Having a hand drawn map of your own hometown or a blueprint of your character's house will absolutely matter when your novel is done.
Step 9: Take another break. Watch a few hilarious cat videos on YouTube. Read that GIF-filled Buzzfeed article that's going to change the way you look at everything (#16 made me cry). Play that freemium Facebook game your weird aunt keeps sending you requests for. Writing is really hard work, especially when you haven't even written your first official word yet. Whew!
Step 10: Your story is complex, right? That means you need to make notes, and an outline, and notes of your outline, and then an outline of your notes. Leave out no details. Fill your entire wall with Post-It-Notes until you look like the deranged, sleepless detective that's tracking down a serial killer.
Step 11: Now would probably be a good time to take up drinking as a hobby. Or sport. Your choice, really.
Step 12: Spend an inordinate amount of time creating spreadsheets outlining your current workload and schedule. Outline all of your writing time.
Step 13: Realize you don't have any.
Step 14: Create an intricate musical playlist which will be crucial to the development of the story and will be listed as the unofficial soundtrack when the novel is released. Or finished. Or even started. And it had better include some Enya, because that bitch sets moods like you don't even know.
Step 15: Disappoint your parents.
Step 16: Turn your drinking hobby into full blown alcoholism to numb the pain of failure.
Step 17: Gouge your eyes out with your stupid, fancy pens and eat your own arms.
Step 18: Take another break. Eating your own arms is hard work!
Step 19: If you haven't already, you should really consider drawing the cover. I mean, I know you haven't even started the novel yet, but people will definitely want to see a badly scribbled sketch of what the book's cover will be like when done.
We didn't even think it was possible to be so aroused by color pencil, and yet here we are, awkwardly erect and simultaneously dying to read this "masterpyece."
Step 20: Pound your head against your keyboard until the sweet blackness of death releases you.
See? Writing is just that easy.
Okay, so that's not how you write a bestselling novel. But we figured this whole list was better than giving you a post that was only two words.
See, the funny thing is, plenty of authors will tell you to do shit like the above post, and while creating 20 page outlines and making some cutesy stuff to help you get into the project is great, that's no substitution for just sitting the fuck down and writing. Really, there is no secret. Just sit down, shut up, and write. No amount of character sheets and drawings and soundtracks can make up for just writing the damn story.
That's how we do it, anyway. And we haven't once gouged our eyes out, eaten our own arms, or painted our keyboards in soggy brain matter.
Cheers and stay classy, friends,
Music: Not Enya
Beer: Breckenridge Agave Wheat