When I read this one, I just knew that I had to post it. So here it is, 'Uncle Jim's Twenty-five Simple Steps to Becoming an Author':
Rules for Writing
There are twenty-five simple steps to becoming a published author.
Here are the steps:
1. Black ink on white paper.
2. Place your name and address in the top left-hand corner of the first page.
3. Place the title and byline, centered, half-way down the first page.
4. Put a running head (your name, the title, and a page number) in the top right hand corner of every page.
5. Your pages should have one-inch margins.
6. Doublespace your text.
7. Use Courier 10 or Courier 12 only.
8. Type on one side of the paper only.
9. Continue until you reach "The End."
22. Obtain the guidelines for a market that accepts material similar to what you have finished.
23. Follow the guidelines scrupulously when you submit your material.
24. While you are waiting for your rejection slip, start again back at step 1 for your next work.
25. When the rejection slip arrives, send the manuscript to the next market on your list, that same day.
Okay, maybe these steps aren't as simple as they sound (but what worthwhile thing ever is?). But this is heck of a good bit of advice.
I, for one, am going to do my best to follow the plan.