Many of my blog posts have cautioned folks about the flood of "tips" streaming on the ‘Net that’s actually dangerous and will absolutely block their best efforts…
The word “dangerous” has the root meaning “power to harm”, based on the Latin dominus, “lord” or "master".
How could advice from authors considered masters harm a writer? Primarily, I feel, by being accepted as hard and fast “rules” or “laws”.
For every “rule” in the books, some creatively written story has successfully “broken” it :-)
I’m a writer and folks might think I’d be encouraging others to write.
Well, I do; but…
It’s somewhat like a parent who encourages their child to get out into the world, gives them certain warnings; yet, inside, is scared silly about their welfare.
I suppose my first warning to aspiring writers is all about how serious writing changes your orientation toward the world.
Many writers have noticed how people around them seem unable or unwilling to understand what it takes to write: the hours of research (which can include interludes of social activity), the many more hours of writing and revising (which can easily isolate a writer from the world outside their door).
If people misunderstand what you’re doing and you’re withdrawing from their company, you might begin thinking the world is insane.
Well, certain sectors of the world are insane; and, the rest of the people are often quite concerned about what the insane ones are doing…
So, let’s say you’re already inured to the difference between what most people consider living and what you, the writer, must consider your style of living; and, you’ve made the adjustments that smooth the disparities while keeping you sane; and, you’ve finished a piece of writing that is, at best, a first draft.
Finding the advice you need to polish your writing can be an extremely frustrating process.
You may be excited by the promise of articles and books on writing, only to become disheartened when you apply the advice and your writing doesn’t improve.
If I could offer only one piece of advice, it would be that you need to improve from the Inside Out…
When you’ve changed your Self and your inner motivation to write, your writing will improve.
You may still have to revise like a maniac, but even your revision efforts will improve.
Let me give you a hint of a conversation I had with my best friend.
We’d been to a benefit trivia contest on Book Island in the virtual world Second Life and she spoke about the extremely common trait people share of wanting to be “Right”.
Naturally, if a person is wrong often enough, they will fail…
But then, there's that phenomenon where a person does the “wrong” thing in a situation yet comes out smelling like the sweetest flower in the garden.
Also, we live in a rather fractured and ailing society where deciding “right” and “wrong” can often be, to say the least, agonizing…
When it comes to advice, what’s right in one situation or for a particular writer can be very wrong for another writer or in different circumstances.
To say creative writing is a complex task is to utter one whopper of an understatement.
So let me drive home my main point with a special quote:
“For every complex problem there is a simple solution, and it’s wrong.” —H. L. Mencken
What’s to be done?
Please, let me humbly offer, again, my potential solution:
Get to know your Deepest Inner Self.
Some might say your Real Self, down below the personae worn for the sake of society, beyond the doubts and worries of the ego, in that mental space that others can’t reach…
If you write from that place you’ll often find yourself, when contemplating your work, saying, “Who the hell wrote this?”
You’ll reach a realm where the “rules” fade-out, where “right” is merely whatever you do, where all authors of any worth go when they say they’re “in the Zone”…
Sure, even if you write from that sweet-spot, you’ll want an editor to look over your work.
You’ll also be in a stable state of mind that can confidently tell the editor they’re wrong :-)
Easy to do?
Only if you want your work to be Authentic…
The weird thing about this post is that I’m giving you advice about taking advice by giving you more advice…
Naturally, I feel my advice is good but what’s the core meaning of “advice”?
“...from Latin visum, ‘to see'.”
So, just to round-out this advice-filled post, try this quote:
“Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.” —Jim Tully, October 1923
What’s your best advice for writers?
"MOST ADVICE FOR #WRITERS IS DANGEROUS" says @amzoltai What do you think? http://goo.gl/vEOVoF #AspiringWriters #Writing #WriteTip
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