Aphorisms and Reflections on a Literary Life (Part 1)

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These reflections represent my thoughts on literary life. They have been written down as they occur to me. 


1. A writer might have to work 20 or so weird, crappy jobs in his or her lifetime. The writer should try to keep a journal and write about what happens at these jobs. 


2. Passing out fliers for hours at a time gave me perspective on how hard it is to get and hold people's attention. If someone takes the time out to read your book from cover to cover, that is quite an accomplishment.  


3. On the question of family: If you are a successful novelist, then you can have a family. If you are an unsuccessful novelist, then you can't. Since few are successful, chances are you can't. You always have the choice to give up writing novels and do something different. Or, you can substitute an expensive hobby, addiction, or lifestyle choice to write novels. But be warned, your family and those around you will view it as an indulgence. 


4. Try to fill a notebook with one interesting detail a day. For example: The girl at the convenience store register looks exhausted. On her ID badge is the picture of a young, lively woman. How did she go from that picture to where she is now? The weirder the details the better. 


5. On money-barbarism. I generally like America and Americans, but large parts of its population are driven by money-barbarism. You will be surrounding by barbarians. When in the company of money-barbarians, beat your chest aggressively and proclaim how much money you don't make from writing. 


6. On elevator speeches: Just say, "Give me a dollar or I'll pitch you my new novel." Easiest dollar you'll ever make. 


7. Writing vs Adulthood: Why should these two be in conflict? It has been deemed that these two shall forever be in natural conflict. This came to me as a stark realization when I thought a member of my family might get married. I realized that by the time I bought a plane ticket, rented a tux, bought a present, etc, I essentially would have spent double the entire budget to launch my last indie book. In short, you can launch two unsuccessful indie books for the price of one wedding -- and it isn't even your wedding


8. Face it, if you're willing to skip a wedding to launch two unsuccessful books, you're as gangsta as any gangsta novelist there is! 


9. What do you do when readers are ignoring your writing? Look for other writers who are being neglected and give them some love. 


10. What should you do when your juice is running low? Look for the interesting colors, tastes, and other wondrous things around you. 

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