Today’s challenge is about another reflection on your past. I feel like, as writers, we’ve all definitely gotten some advice from others. Now… some of that is good advice, and some of that is bad advice.
I want to take you through a bit of each.
We’ll start with the good. I think one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever gotten came from when I was pretty young. I don’t remember who told me — maybe I read it from an author, or maybe it was one of my teachers. But the best bit of advice that I’ve ever gotten was to keep writing. Don’t quit. Even when you feel like you don’t have anything left. Even when your stuff gets rejected, even when you get a negati…
OH! I remember where this came from now. Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wrote Phantom of the Opera fanfics. And once upon a time, she wrote that Raoul turned into a drunk.
The fic? Super popular.
Along with the super popular came the droves of what we will call the Negative-Nancy-Type. They moaned and cried and said that Raoul would NEVER be a drunk (Suck it. It’s cannon now xD) and wah wah, attacked me, flamed me, started a bit of a war in my comments with people who liked the story… and ultimately got it taken down.
I wanted to quit writing. I was a devastated little teenager who lost something that had over 600 comments. That was a big thing for me at the time.
And then one of my friends told me… no, you don’t give in to that. You keep writing.
You keep on keeping on, and you show them and everyone else that they can’t stop you. Even if you don’t feel like it, even if you’re upset.
And I did.
It’s something I still try to live by. There are times when life gets you down, hard. You lose your work. Your file corrupts. Someone flames your story, or tries to tear you down.
You keep on. Even if it seems like it won’t get better.
Keep On Writing On ❤
Now then! For the flipside. The worst advice that I have ever heard, and I’ve heard it from multiple people… is to wait for your muse to tell you what to do.
It’s kind of really the opposite side of the coin there, because I swear to you… when the trolls got that fanfic taken down, the kidnapped my muse, poured gasoline over her head… and they sat her on fire. Then they laughed. And they roasted weenies. And they sent me pictures.
The thing is, you can’t wait for some imaginary flight of fancy creature to light on your shoulder and show you the way. You won’t always have the perfect inspiration.
Sometimes you just have to write even when you’re feeling blah. In the end, you are your own muse. Your determination, your ability to keep writing even when you don’t necessarily feel like it, your characters and drive and story should be your muse. Let your talent and your passion be that little flight of fancy. And maybe sometimes you have to drag it out kicking and screaming… but it’s always there inside of you, and you don’t have to wait around, you know?
This isn’t to say that it is wrong to take a break. If you need to, you take time away from your writing… but acknowledge that you’re doing it, you’re making that decision. It isn’t some mythical creature barring your way. If you do that, you can pick it back up when YOU are ready, not when Aforementioned Muse tells you to.
So yeah. Those are my two best and worst tips. I could stop here, but we’ll go ahead and throw out a few more fun tips and not so fun tips I’ve gotten.
On the good side:
- Save, and save often.
- If you get stuck in a scene, make a note, push through, and come back later.
- Plotting, even the smallest bit of plotting to know your general beginning, middle and end can save you if you’re the kind of person who tries to pants and never finishes things.
- Scrivener, 4theWords, and mywriteclub are you friends.
- Fanfiction can really help you grow as a writer.
- So can RP.
- Read. Read. Read.
- Your writing is always worth it.
- Never give up.
On the bad side:
- You need to make sure your first draft is perfect.
- You don’t have to read to grow as a writer.
- All first drafts are complete shit. (Fight me.)
- You’ll never be taken seriously if you write fanfiction.
- You can’t write xyz. (Fight me x2.)
- Unless you’re published, you aren’t a writer.
So yeah. There we are! A few of my best and worst writing tips and advice that other people have told me. What about you? What things have people told you that are just… fantastic, or maybe should go into the bin! Let me know!
Until next time, y'all! Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome! Author Amanda McCormick Instagram | Twitter | Facebook Page| NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |