.How I Publish a Book while my Son plays Minecraft.

Soon to be released in bookstores. Stay tuned.

My son (Joel) and I are sitting in the living room. He is playing Minecraft and I am working on getting my 5th book published.

Getting Started

Mom, first, you need to decide between Creative Mode and Survival Mode. In Creative Mode, you are like a god, the lord and master of all you see, with an infinite number of items and resources at your disposal. Creative Mode is only available for writers. Everybody else has to play in Survival Mode. You will also need to choose a difficulty level. Your options are Peaceful, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Writer. Let’s select that last one and see what happens.

Your Character Spawns

Mom, your character could spawn in any biome, but since you selected Writer Mode, there is a 90 percent chance you will appear at a café where you are writing essays. (What is this child of mine talking about?) If you chose to begin with a Bonus Chest, it should be in one of the adjacent bathroom stalls. Look inside to find useful information written on the stall walls that will help you on your quest, including more writing, and then go back to the café for a brownie or a muffin.

Building a Shelter

You can build your shelter out of almost any material, but choose something cozy since you’ll be sharing your shelter/house/office with every other writer playing in your realm. A well-built shelter will keep the elements and most hostile mobs at bay, but letters from publishers who reject your work will always find you. Don’t bother crafting windows for your shelter, since it must be located underground next to a lava pool, a bottomless chasm, and several broken photocopiers.

Searching for Resources

There are tons of resources to write at work! All you need to do is to observe! But, mom, start by gathering valuable natural resources such as wood, cobblestone, and coal, all of which can be bartered with villagers for the mini muffins that will constitute 90 percent of your diet (the other 10 percent comes from the salmon sandwich you found in the caféteria, so eat it sparingly). You should also gather sticks and wool to craft the futon that will be your bed, office, and occasional sexual partner. If you encounter gold, diamonds, or anything else even remotely valuable, immediately select SAVE AND QUIT and invest in your negative Rate this Writer evaluations, I guess.

Crafting Supplies

Mom, I think, you should just combine four wooden planks to create a crafting table. You can use this helpful item to craft pretty much anything, including powerful weapons, armor, and tools. Unfortunately, I will just use it as a desk to write on and edit the two hundred essays on gender identity in Jane Eyre. You are actually the Link character in Minecraft because I guess “you know gender“. The good news is that you don’t need to sleep in Minecraft, so this can be just like one of your real-life workdays. Only stop if a zombie starts trying to eat you, or—worst of all—if a zombie tries to kill you before you can save your writings.

Encountering Hostile Mobs

Zombies, spiders, and creepers will all try to kill you, but the most dangerous hostile mob you will encounter is the dreaded “publishing committee,” who will not only kill you but also demand that you give them a CV, a cover letter, academic transcripts from undergrad, grad school, and kindergarten, seven letters of reference, a twelve-year research plan, and three thousand euros to pay your own way to have your book published.

Fighting the Ender Dragon

Mom, to reach the end of the game, you will need to fight the most terrifying, powerful, and remorseless enemy you can imagine. His name is Jason Eaterson Gandalf, and he was granted tenure in 1978 with one conference paper and zero publications on his CV. Despite getting his first tenure-track job because his supervisor was a drinking buddy of the department, he now expects everyone to do an excellent job on a daily basis. He hasn’t published anything yet, though. Conventional weapons (conversations or spells) cannot harm him, so your only hope is to say good things about him, wear that baseball hat, and pray that he gets offered a job somewhere else.

Starting Over

Playing Minecraft on Writer Mode means you will need to start a new game from scratch every eight to twelve weeks. Just because. No explanation needed. You are a writer and will come up with something else interesting. If you don’t backup your work, it does not exist. You may want to consider playing a game that simulates a safer and more stable career, such as auto thief, soldier of fortune, or assassin. However, given the large number of new writers out there who are joining the game each year, the smartest move might be selling your gaming system and funneling the profits into a yogurt stock.

Now, win the final battle, mom.

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