#1 Cultivate social anxiety and some sort of an addiction. This will prevent you from getting a job.


#2 Scorn the work of other writers, preferably anonymously on the Internet. It makes you feel strong and powerful.

#3 Do not waste time ‘improving self-esteem’. You are a bad person. This is the only thing that makes you interesting.

#4 Do not read. It will make your work less original. Watch television if you need ideas.

#5 If anyone asks what kind of books you write say, ‘High literary fiction’. If they ask what this means, smirk and walk away.

#6 Do not strive for wisdom or insight. Concentrate on ‘cool’. If you need a definition of this, you’re missing the point.

#7 Never re-read one of your own sentences. You are a genius.

#8 Do not exercise or take care of your health. You have no pension or income and would do well to die as young as possible.

#9 Develop overconfidence and mediocrity in equal measure. It’s the only way to make people like you.

#10 Spend most of your time on the Internet. Everything else is distraction.

Rajeev Balasubramanyam is the author of In Beautiful Disguises (Bloomsbury), The Dreamer (Harper Collins) and Starstruck (The Pigeonhole). He was a winner of the Betty Trask Prize and the Clarissa Luard for the best British writer under 35. He is a fellow of the Hemera Foundation for artists with a meditation practice, and was recently write-in-residence at the Zen Center of New York City.
Visit www.rajeevbalasubramanyam.com and follow him on Twitter @Rajeevbalasu.