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Ten Habits of Writers on the Fringe of the Big Time

November 20, 2017

Now that you are about to be famous you need to build habits to carry you through to your days of glory. Align your strategies now before you are thrust into the limelight and the heat of international fame is turned up. Develop these ten habits of success -


- Prepare a list of twenty impressive phrases to write on the inside cover of your book at signings.

- Carry three pens with you at all times in case one of them runs dry in the middle of a book-signing splurge.

- Start every question from the floor at book festivals with an opening comment that mentions your name three times, the title of your book four times before reaching the question you want to ask the famous featured author. Finish by handing out your cards.

- Phrase such questions to famous authors at these festivals along the lines of "would you agree with me that as writers we bear the emotional and psychological consequences of probing the deeper aspects of reality as you have so competently displayed in your recent book and as I incisively explored in my book, ‘Cometh the Hour: A Caretakers View’?”. Hold aloft a copy of your book.

- Consider it a positive response when the local free newspaper prints it's in-depth interview with you as a small paragraph on a page crammed full of ads and dedicated to school news, WI report on the monthly guest presentation, 'Ferret Breeding for the Squeamish' and the minutes of the Racing Pigeon Association’s meeting.

- Write to every Primary school in your area offering to conduct a master class in writing (discount for early booking) having received impolite replies from every Secondary school you pestered.

- Live with being barred from your local pub for handing out bookmarks promoting your book and asking regulars what they think of your novel while you outline in detail the nuances of the plot, its uncompromising pace, the subtlety of the characterisation and the creative lurches in the story arc.

- Remember it is only a matter of luck that keeps you from international fame. Your luck will change when you meet an influential person on the train or make a fifteen second pitch to a stranger in a lift.

- Insist on ploughing through detailed sales statistics with your neighbours even though they have given up asking how your book is doing and they turn off their house lights when they see you approaching.

- Complete your very long pitch to the Guardian for an article demonstrating the bias in the Amazon book rankings where your book is not listed.

- Photoshop your acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Booker Award to help you decide which suit and tie to wear when they get round to recognising you.

- Count the number of points in any list that has a number in the title to demonstrate your attention to detail in your writing and remonstrate with those who say you suffer with OCD.

(You did check this list had ten points, didn’t you?)

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