How Not to Be a Cliché Starbucks-Dwelling, Scarf-Wearing Writer

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The age of prescription free glasses and high-waisted shorts brought forth one central myth: All writers are pretentious bike-riders who drink organic tea. These Grammar Hammers roam the Earth wearing berets and asking others, “I don’t know, can you?” While a select few fit into this subgenre, the rest of us hide in crowded walkways dressed just like your average biology, political science and computer science majors. Writers master their craft while making sure to not exclaim to the world, “Yes, I construct only the finest poetry about nature, but it’s too deep for you to comprehend.” Follow these steps and to become a regular ol’ Stephen King in no time.

Dress like you normally do, not how the Internet wants you to

C’mon, it’s 90 degrees and you’re dressed like Steve Jobs. Stop trading in your band tees and jeans and replacing them with scarfs and flannels. There’s no need to change your true style just to fit in with the weirdly dressed members of the Poetry Club. When you dress like this, everyone automatically assumes you think you’re on top of the world. You might be the coolest dude on the planet, but no one will give you the time of day when you’re dressed like a Coachella D-bag. “Whenever I see someone dressed up like someone at Woodstock in the 1970s, I automatically assume they’re trying way too hard. What ever happened to comfy jeans and funny t-shirts?” said Florida State University sophomore Rick Childress. Shave your huge and unnecessary beard, unfollow “@HipstersRUs” on Instagram, throw on that lucky Hulk Hogan t-shirt and write on, brother.

Don’t Treat Social Media Like Your Diary

Ever seen a writer go on a 15-tweet rant about global warming and the overpopulation of seagulls? Rest assured, it’s not a pretty sight. When a writer turns social media into a personal blog, it annoys everyone who happens to see the onslaught of Facebook posts. As a writer, use this energy and apply it to your latest piece. However, don’t just ignore social media altogether, as it’s necessary to build a professional persona online. Find the balance between personal and professional. Take your aggravation from the last Tumblr post that pissed you off, and bring it to the typewriter.

 Embrace the Hate

Prepare to hear “You’re a writer? What’s it like knowing you’re going to be a barista for the rest of your life?” at least once a day. You’ll need to learn to take criticism if you want to succeed as a writer. Think of it this way: You work way too hard to listen to people hating on your aspirations since your industry doesn’t involve tons of numbers or chemical equations. “People always give me crap for not pursuing a career in science or accounting or something boring that everyone expects you to follow, ” said Florida International University junior AJ Morales. It makes sense that overused comments like this will upset you, but don’t fuel the fire. Take your animosity and store it as energy to drive your writing to success. Just remember: The people who once bashed your passion will be asking for a discount on your newest bestseller when you’re a famous novelist. Morales added, “This is what I love doing, and that’s never going to change.”

Don’t Be a One Trick Pony

Stereotypical writers sit by fountains and write about how the water flows from the spout ever so gracefully, almost as if each water droplet is dancing in front of the setting sun. Sure, this sounds like wonderful ( and cheesy as hell) imagery, but making this the basis of every essay will only get you so far. The world constantly changes, so you need to adapt and change with it. Test your limits by writing a beautiful personal narrative about milk one day, and then write about the development of the modern day computer the next. The jack of all trades beats the ace of one trade.

Act Normal in the Streets, and A Grammar Hammer on the Sheets

Friend groups don’t include writers in group chats for one reason: They correct every single instance of improper grammar. Is it absolutely necessary to point out that someone wrote “dog” instead of “dof?” Your pencil-pushing writer friend will call you out before you can even correct yourself. Let’s be honest: It’s a text message about who’s down for lunch, not a college dissertation. Ditch the semicolon and accept the occasional grammatical error. “Frankly, I love correcting everyone in the group chat’s grammar just to see them get pissed off. I know it’s unnecessary, but c’mon it’s pretty funny,” Brown University junior Arthur Bory said. Avoid the tendency to fix every single tiny mistake and save your mighty copyediting forces for when you take pen to paper.

Brandon is a Junior at Florida State University studying Editing, Writing and Media. He can be found raving about his fantasy football team that came in second place last season or eating something chicken related.

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