Wednesday Whatever!

Today I want to talk about …. Writing advice. I think I’ve touched on this a time or two before, so bear with me. I had a small conversation with my friend Kim over at Silently Heard Once about writing advice. Oh, by the way, go visit Kim if you like poetry and good discussions on things that matter. She’s a wickedly good poet.

Anyway, we touched on reading writing advice and how much it scared us both. So much so we couldn’t write!Β We doubted ourselves so much because we couldn’t write like people would say we SHOULD write. So we didn’t write at all.

In my case, I was pretty much a newbie on blogging. Just starting out on this blog and wanting to write stories so much I dreamed of them. I was scared to write them down and put them out there. Sure I had a blog for cooking, recipes and such. I wrote on that for at least a year before I started this blog. To me though that was different. It was recipes. It was cooking. It was about food.

This blog was scary to start. Why? Because it was about writing. Writing stories. Writing characters. Writing something that someone else actually wanted to read and enjoyed the experience! I had kept the love of writing stories to myself for so many years that I was scared to death to put my work out there to be read by strangers.

I also had a conversation many months ago with my mentor and good, good friend Maddie Cochere from Breezy Books. (If you like funny books with a mystery go check her out!) I told her of my fears and she told me to stop reading writing advice! Which thanks to her I have. Whew.

Now, I’m not saying writing advice is a bad thing. Nor am I saying no one should follow it. What I am saying is this….read, apply and believe with caution. Don’t be like me. Don’t think all writing advice should be followed. Because if you try to do that you will just drive yourself crazy(ier) and come up against a wall you can’t climb over.

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Take what writing advice makes the most sense for YOU. If you feel you can only ‘write what you know’, then go for it. Just don’t be afraid to write what you DON’T know. That’s what research is for.

For every ‘do’ in writing there is a ‘don’t’. Eh, DO what makes you happy and what makes you proud to put out there. DON’T be afraid to put your writing in front of people. That’s how we learn. That’s how we grow as writers.

I’ve also heard this…When you are not writing, read!

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Well, that is good advice if someone doesn’t have a life at all. Now me, I have the husband to take care of, the house, bills to pay, groceries to buy, people to talk to. I have a life! I can’t be reading as much as writing or nothing else gets done. Hell, some weeks I can’t even write because I have too many other things to do and it’s exhausting. I can’t remember the last time I was able to sit and just read a book. It’s been that long.

Would I love to? Hell yeah! Do I have the time? Hell no! I do what I can. When I have time and the energy, I write. Because right now that’s what I need. I need to get my stories out. I don’t need to acquire someone else’s story. Sorry. Nothing personal. I’m sure many of you understand what I mean. I love books. I’ve read countless books in my life. I want to read countless more. But not right now. Sorry, Mr. King. When I become as rich as you I will hire someone to do all these other silly things. Until then, well, reading is not high on my priority list and I don’t feel bad for it.

So, what I’m saying is this….do what works for you. Don’t be afraid of writing what you want. Pay attention to the writing advice that works for YOU. Don’t follow blindly. You have a brain, use it. Just because some big name writer says it, doesn’t make it useful for you, just them. There will only ever be one Stephen King, JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman. Thank the goddess’. And there is only one YOU.

 

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What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?Β 

 

 

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Wednesday Whatever!

    1. I’m usually like that. But for me, the ex always told me I couldn’t write, so I believed him. Putting my writing out there for you guys to read was so scary. He was an ass, but he had me convinced I couldn’t and shouldn’t write.

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      1. Oh have I been there! I didn’t wear the color blue the entire time I was with Josh because he gave he such shit about it. Now I know I look fabulous in blue. You go do your thing girl, you’re amazing! ❀

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  1. Thank you for the shout-out. You are always so sweet. I like that we know the basic rules of writing, but then we make our own decisions as to how we apply them and/or break them. We’ll never stop learning, but I definitely stopped running to and fro to find out what this person advised – and then what that person advised – and then what the “crazy editor” advised (yikes!).

    I have to tell you what crossed my mind as I read this today. When it comes to religion, I don’t want to live the convictions of another person, and I would never ask someone else to live mine. It’s kind of like that with writing. Someone finds what works for them, and they want to share and tell you to do it their way. That’s fine, but what works for them might not work for me. (OUTLINES!) There isn’t one way to write a story. Wouldn’t it all be so boring if there were?

    Keep writing, Jackie! I’m ready for a cruise! πŸ™‚

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    1. Maddie!! Thank you for stopping in! I know how busy you’ve been. Yeah, outlines. That’s a whole nother post. LOL Don’t worry, I’ll keep writing! You do the same. πŸ™‚

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    1. Exactly! Unfortunately, when new writers start reading all the advice around, they get a bit discouraged until they read other writers talking about not taking all the advice to heart. There is a lot out there! Thanks, Brigid.

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  2. Boy do I hear you on this. I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book “Big Magic” She said what you just said and is making a lot of money from it. Your ex didn’t want to to succeed because he knew you’d leave his sorry ass. We all know better. Once you feel it in your soul, there will be no stopping you. But I think most writers question everything they write. We are all mostly an insecure lot. You’ve got some talented ladies who believe in you and you have read many books. Maybe not today but you read a great deal. That’s what he’s talking about. Maddie and Tiny are in your corner. It’s getting to be a pretty big corner. πŸ™‚ You did a wonderful job on the books you wrote. You’ve had a great deal of life experience. That’s what makes a good writer. You know how to research and are willing to do so. I’m a fan of yours and wishing you many published and successful books. I don’t listen to most of the advice either. I can’t write every day. I have a life too. πŸ™‚

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  3. Well said. Reading is good, and there are always hints and tricks to learn (easier /faster to use other people’s experience). But the important thing is to write, write, write. Then you have a foot in the writers’ puddle and information will be more relevant if you are in the middle of a piece. Grab what’s useful at the time and put the rest on the bookshelf for later. The important thing is to write. Your way.

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  4. Nice advice. I do pick and choose which advice I use. But I do take special care to follow grammar advice. I use what works for me and what helps makes my story advance. Thanks for continuing the conversation from Hidden Temptation over here. This is how we get to be better writers I think.

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