Delilah Dawson is a Big Time Genius.

If you’re not already familiar with Chuck Wendig‘s blog, Terrible Minds, I don’t even know if we can be friends anymore.  At least not until you get over there and start reading.  Well, maybe not if you’re easily offended by naughty words.  And maybe not if you don’t want to be a writer.  And okay, if your parents would be mad that you were reading something with a lot of naughty words.

But the rest of you–NO EXCUSES!

Chuck had a few guest posters recently, and one of them is the talented and hilarious Delilah S. Dawson, who you should probably be following on Twitter if you enjoy that sort of thing.  If not, please see paragraph one.

Anyway, Ms. Dawson put down one of the best blogs I’ve ever seen.  It’s called 25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author: Lazy Bastard Edition.  I won’t do the Bad Internet Etiquette Thing of reproducing the entire piece here, but I will give you a couple choice quotes, then wait patiently while you go read the rest.  Warning:  NSFW.  Caveat:  Make time outside of work, it’s worth it.

This is a pretty darn good account of what my own journey was like, so at least you know it’s the “normal” experience for 2 published authors.  Which is nice.

On with the quotes!


This is no secret. Writing is a hugely complicated casserole of grammar, rhythm, vocabulary, pacing, plot, character, word choice, and time spent on task. You can’t edit, revise, or rewrite a blank page. So no matter how good you are, no matter how much you doubt yourself, no matter how elusive your saucy minx of a muse might be, sit your ass in that Ikea Poang chair and write like a mofo. Whether you go by Malcolm Gladwell and Macklemore’s proclamation of 10,000 hours or Stephen King’s avowed 1,000,000 words, you have to put in the time and effort to learn how to write with any skill. You must squeeze out one complete book before most of this advice applies at all. See rule 1.


No one watches an inbox as creepily as a querying writer. Every ping, every refresh could be the answer to your wildest dream. Or a soul-crushing form response that subtly indicates your general suckitude. If you just sit there, waiting, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Go out in the world and do something worth writing about. Start writing your next book. Read something so engrossing that you don’t even hear that adorable whistling sound my phone makes when I get an email. Go hang out on Twitter and yap it up with other writers, never ever mentioning that you’re querying or that you just got a rejection and can’t stop chewing on your beard.

Okay, now quit hanging around here and go read the rest!



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