Conflicting Writing Advice? Whom Should You Trust?
“Advice is the one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you only take what is worth having.”
George S. Clason writes this in the business parable “The Richest Man in Babylon.”
Lots of people are willing to give you advice. It’s free. Lots of people seek free advice for the same reason: it’s free.
But is that free advice really free?
A lot of people at recent writers’ conferences came to me confused about the conflicting advice that they’d heard from the stage. Different writers had different opinions on how to start a novel, how to use dialogue, how to submit for publication…and on and on it went.
Why does this happen? Where does all this conflicting advice come from?
If you’ve been following my work for a while, you’ll know I don’t toss around advice willy-nilly as so many others do.
Let’s take a closer look at this scenario by hopping into one of my favorite things: the analogy.
Let’s suppose you go to a friend and say “my relationship’s in trouble,” and that friend says “you should definitely leave.”
You decide to listen to your friend and leave the relationship.
All you really wanted was for your Sweet Honey to clean up the dirty dishes after eating–and now Honeykins is history.
1) You got advice from the wrong source. You should always go to someone who is an expert in your field if you want serious advice.
2) More importantly here: the advice-giver didn’t listen to what it was that you needed, or ask about your unique situation. They simply threw out a solution without considering what might apply to your unique situation, needs, and goals.
Reason number two is the exact reason you don’t see me flinging around random platitudes and advice, because to stay in my integrity, to truly serve you and your goals to write a publishable piece, I take the time to listen, to read your work, and to apply the vast years of writing and publishing experience to your actual individual project.
Lots of speakers and people who advise writers out there just want to look smart, or seem like they know what they’re talking about, or want to be liked. These are nice motives, but at the end of the day my duty is to serve you and help you to learn to write to increase your chances of publishing at the highest level for you, the very best level to meet your goals and dreams.
I can’t do that without listening, and integrating YOU into the solution.
Any of you who have asked a question this group know this to be true of me, that I practice what I preach because I asked you a lot of questions before I talk to you about where you should go next.
Following advice that is not specific to your novel, genre, and specific goals can spell disaster–as it has for so many would-be authors who came before us.
This kind of impersonal advice is confusing, overwhelming, and has caused many writer to quit.
If you want to talk to me about your specific project, your goals for it and how you can get there, book yourself into my calendar here: www.datewiththemuse.com/bookacall. Let’s get you some specific results related to your actual novel, and your individual goals and dreams.