Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Playing The Advice Game . . .

writers advice Yesterday, I featured a post from Jane Friedman about determining if you’re wasting your time trying to get published.

I also posted a teaser on Google Plus and used a link to her name that alerted her to the post.

She showed up here and commented :-)

I’d indicated that I was a bit ambiguous about her position concerning traditional versus self-publishing and she said I should  feel ambiguous

She then wrote another blog post called I Am Always Sincere, But Never Serious; and, though I can’t be sure, I felt the new post was speaking to that sense of ambiguity.

Here’s one snippet from the most recent post:

“…the truth about writing advice is that it’s only helpful if you’re the kind of writer who benefits from it. Not all writers do (or can). Plus there are always exceptions to each piece of advice.”

That is the “ambiguous” truth of the advice game.

I read Jane with avidity. I take what she says and measure it against what I know, and can surmise, about my particular situation; then, I work to apply what continues to stick. I do this with all the writerly advice I explore.

Do read her post and roll around in the sweet ambiguity :-)

And for those who never click through links on blog posts, here’s a great take-away from Jane:

“Every once in a while I like to remind people: Know that I’m sincere, but never serious. Forge your own path; write your own rules.”

What’s your take on writing advice?
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7 responses to “Playing The Advice Game . . .

  1. Selena August 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I take writing advice the same way I take all advice, and you explained it perfectly. Take it and weigh it against what I know, use a little intuition and be confident about my conclusions. I took your advice and followed the link over to Janes’. Good stuff!


  2. Simone Benedict August 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I’m careful too about whose advice I look at. My first question will be is this person for real (an “authority”)? Once I determine the person is, ambiguous territory too at times, I tend to carefully consider the advice if I think I need it (also ambiguous, usually).


  3. Amy Sundberg August 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Writing advice can be tricky, especially because there is such a very large amount of it floating around. I think ultimately as a writer you have to learn to trust yourself and figure out which advice will work for you and which advice you’re going to forget as quickly as possible.


  4. Pingback: What Good Is Language? « Notes from An Alien

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