My friend Jason Blum (see photo) told me he thinks I prefer to write my life than to live it. I admit, it stung a little. But there are advantages. You can edit out all the boring parts. You get to say all those things you wish you had said but weren't smart enough to come up with on the fly. You get to have the perfect second date... in short, you can make things work out! As a writer, wouldn't it be great not to have to actually write, it started me wondering....
It's Easy to Talk about Writing... Even Easier To Do It!
The best way to be a writer is to not be one. Writers are always whining about having to write. You can be just as successful as a writer if you aren't a writer. And this way you can free up all the time you would have to spent writing each day with something more fun.
When I decided to write my memoir, I wasn't really a writer. I was an unemployed news producer. You see how easy it is to be something else! In fact, the best way to ensure success as a writer is to spend most of your time not writing. For instance, if you are in college and want to be a writer why waste all your time in boring English classes when you can be playing sports instead? Why slog through the Cliffs Notes of War and Peace when you can drop acid?
But if you have no qualifying talent and don't want to have to go to all those annoying auditions, just have sex with a bunch of stars. You see how easy it is! If your father is still mad at all the money he wasted on piano lessons, sleep with rock stars and be a writer instead. How proud would Dad be then!
The government offers many opportunities for a writing career. As does a career in espionage or a stint in prison. In fact, as a murderer you are guaranteed a two-book deal, and you can option the movie rights. But if you want to stay on this side of the law, actually just being a lawyer is fine training for a career in writing, although I strongly recommend being related to a murderer (saves all that tuition and can guarantee you a bestseller).
Note: For all you old-fashioned writers who insist on writing, it's important to know the rules. See Confidential Memo Leaked By Anonymous High-Ranking Publishing Officials below.
Re: Minimum required percentage of truthful content when embarking on a writing career
- Memoir: 5% (As set forth by James Frey in the televised panel "Defining Memoir" with Larry King, James Frey, James Frey's Mom, and Oprah).
- Fiction: 0% ??? Optionally, may contain "ring of truth."
- History: 10% ??? Should be at least twice as truthful as memoir, as dictated by current truth in memoir guidelines.
- Criticism: 1% ??? Should get basic facts straight, such as names and works of artists or authors under discussion.
- Biography: 2.5% ??? Similar to a memoir, but with a lower requirement: after all, a biographer cannot be expected to "remember" things better than the subject of the biography.
- Autobiography: 6% ??? If unable to meet this requirement, must be recategorized as "Memoir." If "Memoir" is also too stringent a requirement, recast as "Biography" and publish under a pseudonym.
*Thanks Mark Iocolano
Question of the Day:
What is the anagram for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito?
"We create narratives for people, because they are simpler than the complexities of real lives. Everyone wants a good story, with a prince and a princess and a villain."
— Carole Radziwill, What Remains
Books mentioned in this post
Carole Radziwill is the author of What Remains: A Memoir of Fate Friendship