Why Should I Listen To You?

<p><a href=’http://tryingtowriteit.com/2013/03/07/why-have-i-never-heard-of-half-of-the-people-who-give-writing-advice/’>Why have I never heard of half of the people who give writing advice?</a>.</p>

I love this topic and this post from a fellow blogger.  I think it’s an incredibly relevant point.  I am one of those people who will buy a whole lot of “how to” writing books and love to take advice because I feel I can always learn something.  But it’s an easy trap to fall into – – you’re so busy researching about writing, reading about writing, learning how to better write that you don’t actually write!

I have a friend who is the published author of more than four books; we actually met after I reviewed his first book (which I loved) and he appreciated and like my review so much that he kept in touch with me.  He gave me some terrific advice. Writing groups can be a good thing but they can also be very defeating.  When someone’s “job” is to critique it can leave the writer with discouragement and dismay.  (This I know to be true from firsthand experience after taking a writing workshop).  There are also excellent “how to” books on writing out there (and he gave me a list of those that he uses).   But of course . . . at some point you have to put the book down and get to writing.

I wonder about authors like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Grisham and the like.  Did they take writing courses?  Did they belong to critiquing groups?  They have managed success that most of us fantasize about.   Stephen King has written a memoir on writing.  If he offered a course, would I take it?  You bet your ass!

So what say you, readers/writers?  Do you trust those “experts” who tell you how to be successful as a writer, even if you’ve never heard of them?  Do you think writing classes are necessary?  How about writing groups/critique groups?  Let me know what you think!

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5 thoughts on “Why Should I Listen To You?

  1. Great post! Thanks for checking out my blog. I think it can be helpful to get advice from peers, people who are in the same boat as you. Once you get into the ‘expert versus novice’ field it could be a bit more complicated, like you said. Either way, it’s important to experiment to see what works.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my place, elenacarpi! Always happy to find fellow writers.

    I definitely think there are positives and negatives to getting advice. You can be sidetracked, sure, but you can also take the feedback as constructively as possible and turn it into a good thing (and sometimes it takes time and distance to do that!)

    Happy Tuesday!

  3. Pingback: Reblog: “To Read or Not To Read…Reviews” by Jeremy Robinson | F*ck You

  4. The most important thing to be a writer is to write every day. We are what we do, so if we write, we’re writers.

    While there are plenty of books and courses and webinars and such about writing, writers only have access to this if they have time and/or money. But writers who have these experiences share them with their friends, and I think this is great.

    Writers are life-long learners, and they are constantly teaching themselves about the craft and about the business. Networks to share this information are incredibly valuable. Are we all published and amazing successes? No, but maybe something I discovered will help you and vice versa. While not everything we read is expert advice (it is the Internet, after all), anything that makes a writer consider her craft cannot be completely devoid of value.

    One last thing (I promise), advice from writers like Stephen King and John Grisham isn’t always the best for aspiring writers today. It was a different time when they were starting out, and technology was waaaaay different. I have learned so much from other new writers that I would not have learned by reading On Writing (which is good, but does address self-publishing in the 21st century.) 😀

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