Worst Writing Advice I've Ever Gotten
(this post is based on the Marketing for Romance Writers 52 Week Challenge)
That is an excellent question. For every aspiring writer there is a book, course, website, blog, podcast, or man on the street with pamphlets, with helpful tips on how to BE a writer. Many have conflicting points of view. So what might be the worst advice for me, might be the exact motivation you need.
I can tell you the things that I do and don't do.
- Write sequentially
- Skip sentences and paragraphs
- Tell your inner editor to shut up while drafting
- Deviate from your plot, but find a way back to it by the end
- Make time for your writing and guard that time fiercely
- Read your book out loud at least once before you let anyone else read it
- Keep looking for ways to improve your craft and your process
- Mix editing and drafting. Fix a typo if you must, leave the rest until the draft is done
- Skip whole scenes. If you don't know why you need this scene, go back to your plotting
- Write every day if you don't feel like it
- Jump into a draft because you're sure you know what's going to happen, even if you haven't finished plotting
- Compare your progress to anyone else's
- Get discouraged when you realize your first (or sixth) draft is crap. Everything is fixable
- Start drafting something new until you've finished the first draft you're currently working on
The worst advice? Someone (Stephen King? Obama? I don't know) said that if you haven't finished your draft within six months (a year? two years? I don't know that either), then you're probably never going to finish it. This is crap. See my list above. If you want to write, commit to writing, but don't set a time limit on whether you pass or fail. The Pick Up took me two years to write the first draft. I just wrote Cold Pressed in five weeks. Neither is more or less valid. As long as your still making progress, it's all good.