My expert guide on how to write well and become a professional author

Every day I write over 30,000 words, which makes me a de facto expert author. Granted, most of those words are in emails, blog posts, comments, tweets, and instant message conversations, but nitpicking is for children and people who are not expert authors.

I am besieged by requests for tutelage. Aspiring authors contact me almost hourly searching for tips and tricks to being me. As much as it has pained me, I have had to ignore their pleas, until now.

In seven simple steps, I have encompassed all there is to know about writing.  If you can do each step successfully, yet you’re still not an expert author capable of using phrases like “de facto” properly, you should probably become a teacher instead.

1.  Use words.  Years of research have resulted in findings that while readers do like to look at pictures, you will never amount to being anything more than a cartoonist if you don’t use actual words.

2. Wear glasses.  It may surprise you to discover that not only do glasses make you look and feel smarter, they make others around you act less intelligently which makes you smarter in comparison.  And intelligence is directly correlated to proper word usage and better writing.

Adam Avitable wears glasses to look smarter
Not only am I smarter than you, but I'm more condescending, too, thanks to my glasses.

3. Avoid unnecessary words.  Don’t use extra words to pad your content when fewer words will still convey your meaning.  There are plenty of superfluous words and phrases like “regardless”, “very”, “in all honesty”, “pretty much”, “apparently”, “actually”, “literally”, “just saying”,  and “at the end of the day”, to name a few.  Also, “the”.  It’s completely unnecessary and you should refrain from using “the” if at all possible, just like I have throughout this entire post.  And for a real challenge, try to write without using vowels. T’s hrdr thn t lks.

4. Punctuation is essential.  Would you rather help your uncle, Jack, off a horse or help your uncle jack off a horse?  If Jesus makes a sarcastic joke, would you rather say “Nice, asshole Jesus” or “Nice asshole, Jesus”?  Proper punctuation is key.  Without it, there would be chaos. CHAOS.

5. Blame your audience.  If you’ve created a rich tapestry of verbiage with deep symbolism and themes of justice and true love, but nobody gets it?  It’s not your fault. Take every opportunity to blame your audience for not getting your message rather than making efforts to self-edit.

6. Increase your vocabulary.  It’s important and not douchey at all to have a broad-reaching and rich vocabulary.  Why say when you can elucidate? Don’t shout at someone, ejaculate loudly!  Once you’ve written your first draft, your next step should be to sit down with a thesaurus and change 95% of your words into their more obscure, multi-syllabic counterparts.  And if you can’t find a suitable replacement, make one up!  Your readers will find that to be quite fangrubioutastic.

7. Listen to input from specific sources.  You may think that input and feedback are useful, but don’t let yourself get side-tracked by listening to inappropriate people.  Your editor, your best friend, your successful author pal – don’t send them a single word.  Give your writing to your work’s elderly black janitor.  He’s sure to have some wise advice for you.  That homeless person who plays an old violin every day? His input will be worth its weight in gold. A psychic that you called after seeing one of those TV ads?  Perfect!

And that’s all it takes. My words should become your Bible. Memorize them, live by them, eat, sleep, and drink them. Before too long, you will be just as successful as I.

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50 Replies to “My expert guide on how to write well and become a professional author”

  1. Mrs. Flinger


    “Nice, asshole Jesus” or “Nice asshole, Jesus”? Proper punctuation is key. Without it, there would be chaos. CHAOS.

    God I love you people. You and Him and Her and Me. On a balcony. Always. In. My. Mind.

  2. Jennifer G

    I had an English teacher (in freakin’ HS) who would not let us use the following words: am, is, are, was, were, being, been. I swear I failed EVER paper. He single-handedly ruined me forever. Thankfully your rules didn’t include this or I was gonna LOSE MY SHIT, for realz.

  3. Maria

    I was going through my bookmarks and came across your blog. I have no recollection of bookmarking your blog since I don’t even know you. I looked at your comments and did see someone that I know: Sybil. But, that still doesn’t explain why your blog was in my bookmarks. I think it was some sort of hoo doo magic. Whatever the reason, I read your post and enjoyed it. Very, very much. Truly. In all honesty, I don’t usually take to blogs by men. Really. Really truly. But, I had a very nice time, so thank you. Truly. Very much. Any friend of Sybil’s has to be a good Joe. Or Betty. Or Don. Or Zachary. Or Chloe. Or Bernard. Just sayin’. That. You did leave out one item that I think is important: being redundant or verbose turns people off. I know this because I have a very cranky reader who tells me to shut up and stop repeating myself all the time. Truly. Really. Quite.

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