More on Writing…

In Personal Stories, Thoughts on Publishing on July 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Many of my fans (estimated to be in the mid-single digit range) have asked many questions of me, but the one question that I receive the most I am unable to divulge here. The second most asked question is, “How do I become an author?”

Not sure why they ask this of me, but as I sit here eating cold corn on the cob in my basement office I shall purge a few of my best writing secrets in hopes of cultivating a new bacon loving rock-n-roll junkie bubble bath taking writer in the making.

“Write what you know” – CLICHÉ and lame, but also semi helpful. However, write what you know does not mean that EVERY tale you craft has to be about an author who comes from the same type of city that you were raised in or dream of living in. While this clearly worked for Stephen King, it gets old…quick. My interpretation is simply to write what you have an interest in…something that you have half a clue about or you will face the dreaded “research” which, at least in my case, kills the free spirited word spewage.

“Read, read, and then when you are done read some more” Really? For rizzle? Much like research forcing yourself to read in hopes that your skillz getz betta is a possible recipe for burning out. Read when you want. Isn’t it more important to…write?

“Rejection is part of the game” 100% true. You need to let rejection roll off of your back. I have a nice binder that I keep my rejection letters in. Some of them are better than others, but in the end they are still rejection letters. Unless they say that you are ugly who really cares what the contents of a rejection letter are? Not me. Sure I’ve been disappointed, but it was nothing that an extra slice of bacon couldn’t resolve.

Find at least one person (two or three if possible) who can be completely honest with you. 98% of your family and friends will blow smoke up your ass because, well, for some reason they like you and fear hurting your feelings. A strange 1% will tell you that you work sucks simply out of jealousy. It is that golden 1% that will tell you the truth. These are the people you want in your corner when you’re looking for someone to proof read you treasures.

Be social. Oddly enough so many of us writers are so creative, but not social enough. Who cares if your widow finds your hidden gems after you are gone and reads them weeping over your urn that she has decorated sweetly and bedazzled the hell out of. If she is the only person to have read you creations then it’s all for nothing. Get out there and be annoying…I mean social. This is by FAR the toughest part of the journey for me.

Lastly, get Steven Novak to design your cover. If your work sucks it will still sell with an awesome cover. Steven knows how to dress a pig better than anyone I know…I should know…it worked for me! People LOVE the cover of Plain Old Kirby Carson (which is available at – please contact me directly at for information about signed copies) and it has opened several doors that an otherwise lame-o cover would have been able to do.

Well, I hope that has helped any of you young aspiring meat eaters and/or authors.

Pleased To Meat You,


Ryan O’Neil is not only an official member of LitU, but a voracious eater of all things once alive. His official blog can be found here

  1. You mean I *have* to talk to people? Sigh. It’s a good thing modern pharmacology makes mood-altering substances available, so long as you can whine in a convincing fashion when your doctor is in the room.

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