First, a disclaimer: this is not a post about football. I would be the last person on the planet to ever post about a game I know nothing about. I can’t even bulls**t my way through a discussion on it, so there.
Now. I was listening to a podcast recently about advice. How to give it, how to take it, when and why you should offer it. For the record, I don’t like to give advice routinely simply because I don’t like getting unsolicited advice. There’s always THAT person who thinks they know everything that will make your situation better and easier, and believe me, they are usually wrong. Having said that, there are two pieces of advice that I’ve heard throughout my writing career that I’d like to offer. One, I listened to.
First, the good piece of advice. I heard this at my very first RWA conference in San Antonio in 2014 from a chat with mega-wonderful Nora Roberts. Her advice to the following question, “How can I find the time to be a prolific writer like you?” was simply the best thing I ever heard anyone say. It was:
See how good it is – someone made a Pinterest board for it!
Added to that advice was this little gem which I remind myself of daily:
Words for a writer to live by.
Now to the worst writing advice I’ve ever received. Here’s the backstory: I entered a contest and this was part of one judge’s critique. “If you change the name of the heroine, make her younger and give her a tragic background, you MAY ( and yes, she put may in capitals!) have the beginning of a decent story here. Otherwise, I don’t see this book ever getting published. I also feel your hero is dumb.”
And I paid to enter that contest. Last one I ever entered, that’s for sure!
Well, the laugh is on her, because I took none of her advice and that book, COOKING WITH KANDY, is coming out in April from Kensington/Lyrical Shine and I didn’t change a thing about the book/characters/backstory.
So here’s the Monday morning quarterbacking mentioned in the title to this blog in the form of my own writing advice- completely unsolicited.
Write for yourself, first.
I don’t have a Pinterest block to put up on that one, so I just bolded it in the hope that it makes a statement. YOU are your first reader. If you don’t write something for you, that you love, that sings to you, it won’t do so for anyone else. Remember that. I do. Everyday.