There are so many ways to be an unsuccessful writer these days. Of course, there are compensations, because there plenty of ways to be a successful writer. But, let’s face it, you’re probably doing it all wrong. And so am I.
We need to write faster, for one thing. Much faster. So we should be grateful that one writer graciously offered up her method on a popular forum. It’s very simple, really. Just write 23,000 words a day — every day. Arguments about quality neither relevant nor wanted. Just pick up those fingers and get the words out there.
Then there’s genre. If you’ve been writing chick lit, you’re worse than passe. The latest “in” thing is farm lit. As far as I can tell from the description, farm lit is actually chick lit moved to the country, but who cares? A good set of cliches will always be capable of new variations.
Which should remind us that your choice of genre is what’s most important. Just pick the one that’s most popular at the moment. The only caution here is to jump on the bandwagon when it’s on the upswing. Keep an eye on the bestseller lists and big-guns reviewers and you won’t go wrong.
You can always find controversies about writing, arguments that shake the literary world from time to time, but have no apparent lasting effect on the real world. To be perfectly honest, they usually have no effect at all on the real world. The latest is apparently whether it’s okay for women to write likeable female characters. The consensus used to be that it’s a betrayal of “our” gender for a woman to write unlikable female characters. Frankly, I’m not sure I even understand the problem, but for a look at both sides of another teapot tempest, try I Like Likable Characters, a Slate article.
One final bit of advice. If you’re a female writer, you’re probably doing it all wrong, no matter what you do. Unless you can show proof of a big, fat bank account. Money excuses everything, even being female.