Evil Monkey Guide to Creative Writing-#2

Jeff VanderMeer • August 17th, 2007 @ 2:48 pm • Evil Monkey, Nonfiction


Remember that most career advice is anecdotal or a Received Idea–received from a time machine from the Distant Past. Sincerely-given but idiotic career advice can be a shiv in the side, an icepick through the eye that’s never pulled out. Worse, it can result in a slow malarial fever from which you never recover.

The worst career advice attempts to separate you from your work, you a shucked oyster wondering what happened, and where. This is my love and this is just a reach-around, but the latter is hot and the former is not, so I will work on what I’m mildly tempted by. Alas, market predictions aren’t like assholes, because everyone has two or three, and they usually serve little purpose.

Listen close to Evil Monkey before he loses focus and throws his shit upon the wall: Write what moves you, what you must write, if you have the choice, before letting someone else’s preconception/waking dream of market and professional influence you. A writer separated from his or her work is a lost soul.

It matters not what Giant Rabbit Head Author is doing–you will never be Giant Rabbit Head Author, not with that tentacular scalp of yours…

6 Responses to “Evil Monkey Guide to Creative Writing-#2”

  1. Jessica Reisman says:

    Can I be a giant rabbit head squid? I like rabbits. And squids.

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    You can be whatever you like, Jessica. You don’t have to listen to Evil Monkey, because…he’s evil.

    I need to talk to you about boxes, sometime, btw.


  3. Samuel Tinianow says:


    One of my nicknames is Octopus Hair Man.

  4. » Career tips for writers, redux » Velcro City Tourist Board » Blog Archive says:

    [...] Vandermeer’s Evil Monkey delivers the second short sharp installment of his Guide to Creative Writing: “Alas, market predictions aren’t like assholes, because everyone has two or three, and [...]

  5. Steve Buchheit says:

    Ouch, stuck in a recursive loop. But he’s giving advice, but he says not to listen so such advice, but he’s giving advice not to listen to such advice… Norman, coordinate!

    Of course, I guess Evil also isn’t a Giant Rabbit Head Author, so it’s okay. :)

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    honest revitol review…

    I Would Like Some Info On Revitol Reviews…

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