In honor of one of my all-time favorite books, Dan Greenburg’s How to Make Yourself Miserable, I offer these six surefire ways to torture yourself as a writer and insure continuous misery:
- Spend hours each day lurking on social media and reading about the sweet publishing deals your writer friends have gotten while you count your rejection slips.
- Visit Goodreads often and re-read the awful reviews on your last book; ignore the good ones.
- Obsess over those writers you secretly don’t think are very good but whose careers are going way better than yours.
- Make a list of authors whose work is so good you know you’ll never measure up.
- If you don’t have an agent, lament that you’ll never get one; if you do have an agent, convince yourself that you’re about to be dumped when he doesn’t immediately respond to your last email.
- To insure continued misery, repeat all of the above as needed.
So there you have it. If you are determined to be miserable, these are amazingly effective strategies. If you’re a writer, I’d love to hear from you. What strategies have you found work well? All additions to my list are welcome!
And if you’re not a writer, I’m eager to hear about the strategies you use either at school or in your field to insure misery.
Of course, there is a limit to how much misery I can wallow in, so next week, I’ll talk about the antidotes to making yourself miserable.