Recently I felt the need to go through my pinterest boards and clear out and delete pins that I wouldn’t use or didn’t need.

I know this sounds tedious and you’re probably wondering why the heck would I waste my time and perform such a dull and unnecessary task.

But it’s CLUTTER. I don’t NEED all those things.

Anyway.

I was going through my “writing tip” board. Most of the things I kept were query writing posts and random facts stuff like parts of tall ships and different kinds of rifles.

The stuff I deleted? ALL the writing tips stuff, or writing prompts, or 300 plots twists for your WIP. And deleting all that got me thinking.

There is a PLETHORA of writing advice out there. Some good. Some bad. Some for you and some that’s not for you. There’s nothing wrong with this. Except:

I think there can be too much writing advice. I mean, it all means nothing if you never sit down and actually write and edit things.

I’m a dancer. A teacher can give me a thousand tips to do a pirouette (that’s this:pirouette

but if I never actually practice the pirouette it all ain’t gonna mean nothing. Yeah, the tips are great, but if I’m just standing there I won’t get any better. I need to PRACTICE. That’s even more important than the tips. The tips help me to get better AS I’m practicing.

So yeah. Consume all the writing articles you want. But actually writing and editing and having people critique your work is how you will get better. Knowing the science about a character arc is really great but – what about writing one?

I know the way I really got better was by writing and getting critiqued. YES, reading about writing is helpful, and articles I have read have certainly given me little light bulb moments.

But there is SO much out there. Like I can’t remember all these things! So many tips! So many things saying to write a good arc you need to do this, and don’t forget about the three act structure, and here is how you should do backstory, and this is how you write deep POV and –

TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

Anyway. That’s what I got to say. Peace out.

LIFE UPDATE

The ballet company’s season starts next week *screams* I’m ready to get back to it but at the same time not ready at all and it didn’t help that last week I had my wisdom teeth out so I have been living off ice cream and macaroni (not a bad life). But I took class yesterday and discover that I can, as always, still dance.

How do YOU sift through all the information out there?

 

6 thoughts on “Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Writing Advice?

  1. Writing is an experience that tends to vary a lot from person to person, and of course different people are going to want different things from a story, so writing advice is very hard to give. I remember back in the days when I was a newbie writer and was feverishly searching the internet for an instruction manual on how to write the perfect story, and after I read all the advice I could find, I ended up confused and with writer’s block. Especially with how some people would tend to say, ‘you HAVE to write a story this way. If you do this thing, then your story will end up bad. This is the only way to do things.’ And…no, just because someone personally doesn’t like a trope or convention doesn’t mean it’s always bad 100% of the time (I mean, there are a choice few tropes that need to kick the bucket, but I’m talking about the harmless ones that can be annoying when done wrong).

    I think honestly the best writing advice I ever received was to just write whatever I wanted and to follow my own instincts for what should go in the story, and if something didn’t work then I could always revise later. I still do read writing advice from time to time, but nowadays I know that it’s not always going to be what I need at the moment and it can’t write my story for me.

    And critique is the BEST. Painful, but the best.
    This was kind of a long comment, sorry ;-)

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    1. Love long comments! The “you HAVE to write it this way” is just the worst. (or when people say they have a fool proof plan to make your writing great. Like sorry, but you don’t underestimate my abilities to mess it all up XD) And that’s the BEST writing advice, to write what you want and follow your instincts. Thanks fore reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely agree! Writing is a practice, much like learning an instrument or how to illustrate. You can read as many textbooks and blog posts as you want, but it’s not going to instantly improve your skills. The key is to use the methods that you read about to your own writing in order to see if they really work.

    Additionally, what works for one writer might not work for the next. Depending on styles, voices, and genres, the validity and practical application of the advice varies. We can’t just fully devote ourselves to every bit of advice we read on Pinterest. There’s a certain point where we have to step back and say, “Well, maybe I don’t HAVE to do it that way…”

    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. I think I’m joining the multitudes here, but OH MY GOODNESS YES. I 1000% AGREE, AS WELL!!! There is SO MUCH writing advice out there, and none of it means anything if we don’t actually put in the time and energy to practice and get better and figure out our own voices and styles. Sometimes I think the abundance of writing advice is enough to choke new writers. There’s just so much, which makes it almost like information overload. I definitely think there’s a place for writing advice, but you are so right. Practice is more helpful than advice, and only by doing are we actually going to get better…

    Like

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