Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath in 1956

The 9 Ways to (Pretend to) be a Writer

  1. Wherever you go, carry a black Moleskine around. Don’t have it in your bag though, of course. Carry it at your side with a black pen in the other hand, or, ideally, prominently placed behind your ear.
  2. Drop some form of the line, “Yeah, I was thinking of putting something like that in my novel” into casual conversation. Example: Your girlfriend says, “I’ve actually been fighting depression for nearly a decade. I’m so happy I can talk to you about it though.” You: “Yeah, I was thinking of giving one of my character’s in my new novel depression. You can be my consultant. It’s gonna be a great book. Glad to hear about your depression.”
  3. Live in Paris, New York or London. San Francisco is an acceptable alternative, but not ideal. People are too happy there.
  4. Memorize a sentence from The New Yorker or The Atlantic and use it with friends or, preferably, in class so your teacher can also hear it. Multiple birds and stone situation.
  5. Have at least three blogs. Even if you don’t update them you can say, “I write for a variety of audiences with a variety of genres” and only sort of be lying.
  6. Tweet and Facebook links to articles you haven’t read but have smart sounding headlines.
  7. Sit in cafés. You can mess around on Facebook, browse People Magazine, stalk your ex – it doesn’t matter, just be in that “writer atmosphere.”
  8. Virtually check in to cafes saying you’re “doing a little writing.” Tweet it, Facebook it, Instagram it, Tumble it, WordPress it, put it in LinkedIn experience. Do what you have to do, just be sure everyone knows.
  9. Write one article. Someone will eventually ask to see your writing. The rest can be “works in progress.”
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