This week, I’ve come across an article that offered advice on writing, and which received a lot of backlash from the writing community. One was a Huffington Post article where a writer advised other writers not to write more than 4 books per year, saying it would automatically lead to poor quality. This article isn’t the first that offers advice on how one should or shouldn’t write or manage their writing career. There are tons of them out there, and each time one is written, the author acts as if their advice is the end-all be-all of advice
Given all the advice out there, how do writers decide which writing advice they follow?
Ultimately, I think they need to follow advice that resonates with them and advice that works. Yes, that’s a two-pronged approach, but part one is at least as important as part two. While part of the criticism leveled at the Huffington Post article was that it was bad business advice. But, let’s separate out the business portion of it for now. Let’s just talk about the writing advice. (I think we need to follow more stringent guidance for deciding which business advice to follow.)
I say writing advice needs to go with what resonates with you for a couple of reasons. First, because writers are all different. While successful writers all have in common the fact that they write, that they produce a decent amount of published work that sells, how they write is often very different. It’s frankly, personal. And if the writing advice doesn’t resonate with you on some basic level, it’s going to be hard to follow. And I would venture to say, it probably doesn’t fit with your writing style, not even a little.
Now, once you find advice that resonates with you, feel free to Google it. What are other people saying about it. While we can’t live our life by committee rule, it’s important to know if the advice you’re hearing is more along the norm or if it’s an outlier. Outliers aren’t necessarily bad, but you should know that. If you’re happy with the advice, the most important thing to do comes next: try it. Does it work for you? If it doesn’t work for you, it may not be the best advice for you. They say the proof is in the pudding. Well, I say, with writing advice, the proof is in what works. Writers are different. While someone may advise writing 2,000 words a day for a month, then taking a month off for editing, that solution may do bupkis for you. So, try it and see if it works for you. If it doesn’t work, take a moment to analyze why. If you think the advice was generally bad/not a good fit for you, dump it. If you think the problem was your implementation, then maybe try again, with a different implementation strategy.
Writing is both universal as well as very personal. As such, when you evaluate advice, remember to look at it on both levels, the universal writing level and the personal level. That will help you figure out if it’s a good fit for keeping you productive in the way you wish to work.
Last, but not least, in the headline, I promised a freebie. My book, The Self Publishing Road Map, is FREE on Amazon today. So grab it if you’re interested.
Have a great rest of your Sunday!
P. S. If you haven’t visited my Pinterest page, check it out. I’ve pinned some great writing advice quotes from many sources.