Random List: An Obscure Mystery Novelist Offers Up a Mixed Bag of Advice on Improving a Writer’s Craft

MotiveMeansOpportunity

Be mentally-ill.  Believe me, if you want to be a writer, having a reasonable, manageable amount of mental illness is a God send. (Note: being neurotic can and often does reek havoc on your personal and professional life, but the fleas come with the dog).  Here’s why being afflicted with a mild to moderate mental illness is beneficial to a writer: because you suffer, you better understand the suffering of others.  Your suffering allows you to better understand human frailty, and that, in turn, fosters empathy for others, which will help improve the depth of the characters you write. Plus, do I really need to list all of the great writers, male and female, who struggled with depression, anxiety, OCD, and other neurotic ailments?

toddlerHave a toddler.  Or, if parenting isn’t your thing, then babysit a friend’s toddler for an hour or two.  Playing with a toddler is…

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