The Truth About Writing Advice

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The truth about writing advice is that everything is subjective. Everything. (Except maybe this).

I’ve now written well over 350 posts, most of which involve some kind of tips or thoughts on writing, the process of novel-writing and the publishing world. And sometimes, as is bound to happen when you write about any particular topic over the course of two years, I look back at old posts and think, that’s interesting. I do x differently now. 

Writing is so subjective that sometimes I don’t even adhere to the same tips I gave two years ago. And that’s fine—it doesn’t make them less helpful, it’s just because I’ve learned to do things a little differently.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that nothing is set in stone. Just because I (or any other writing blogger out there) has a particular technique, or opinion, or idea that works really well for them, doesn’t mean that if it doesn’t work for you, you’re somehow less off. Just about every writing rule or trend out there has an exception, even several exceptions. Take everything you read with a grain of salt.

For every wonderful program, application or technique that fifty writers rave about, there are fifty writers who find it doesn’t quite work for them.

For every opinion or tip I share, I know there are some out there that disagree or find the tip useless, and that is completely ok.

Writing is subjective, and writers all work differently. There isn’t a right or wrong path and there isn’t a magical process that will guarantee success.

There are just writers like me figuring things out as we go, and sharing what we learn along the way. And if it helps, wonderful, and if it doesn’t, that’s completely fine, too. Just keep doing what you’re doing and above all: write.

I’m curious: where do you get your writing advice? Favorite blogs/websites/books/etc.? 

Twitter-sized bites: 
"Just about every writing rule or trend out there has an exception." (Click to tweet)  
"The truth about writing advice is that everything is subjective."  (Click to tweet)


Jen Donohue said...

Stephen King's "On Writing" is/was of utmost value to me, as is Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird". I'm preparing to read Ursula K. LeGuinn's "Steering the Craft"; I hope I'm blown away!

I do read Absolute Write quite a lot, and varying agent, agency, and writers' blogs. Some things I absorb, some I wrinkle my nose at, and some I realize were a good idea all along if I would just LISTEN.

Ava Jae said...

I haven't read any of those, although I've heard a lot about On Writing. I scroll through Absolute Write as well (I should probably make an account on there at some point) and I agree there can be great advice there. Writer forums are a wonderful source of information. :)

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