10. Send out your first draft to an agent or editor. Without reading it over first.
9. Disagree with everyone’s opinion about how to make your work stronger. Extra points for rolling your eyes and muttering, “Whatever.”
8. Submit your tale of horror, gratuitous sex, and gore to Highlights Magazine for Children.
7. Mock out and insult editors and agents on other peoples’ blogs. Sign your real name.
6. Write a meandering story with no plot, one-dimensional characters, and make people guess what your underlying message might be, smugly knowing they’ll be wrong.
5. State on your query letters that you are God’s gift to writing. Let the receiver know that if they don’t publish you, they’ll blow their chance forever. Next month send a new query and let them know you’ve decided to give them a second chance.
4. Plagiarize famous writers such as Agatha Christie, Lewis Carroll, or Danielle Steel. Change only the names of the characters. Hope no one notices.
3. Attend writers’ conferences and stalk the editors and agents. They love to be pitched to while using the urinal or stall. If you can hand them a soiled manuscript on the way out, all the better.
2. Have editors’ home phone numbers on speed dial. Question every red mark they’ve made on your manuscript. Disagree with their comments, especially at 2 a.m. when you’ve consumed an entire bottle of wine by yourself.
And the number one way to make sure you will never be published:
Don’t send out your work. Ever. Because it may not be good enough. Or you might receive a curt no. As long as you don’t try, you can never fail.
Or, even scarier, succeed.