For almost three years we’ve shared the ups and downs, and hairpin turns, and chaotic free-falls of our writing process. We’ve found teachers and mentors and crack-pots! Oh my! (Opps, wrong movie.)

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We’ve all been there right? Doing research on any topic – art, weapons, technology, shoes, horses – and find ourselves, three hours later, watching videos of cake decorating…

Go ahead and watch. I’ll wait.

The same warren is there for writing craft or any skill really. It may be approaching the editor you are paying to find problems like an instructor grading the manuscripts instead of the employee they are. Possibly you sign up for and pay for advice only to discover this “expert” is a narcissistic asshole whose primary goal is not to assist but stroke her own ego. #truestory Or, you adhere so strictly to the rules/instruction/lesson that you lose the craft part. The art becomes paint by numbers rather than creative expression.

Remember the Olympic skaters who were technically great and boring as dirt?

As part of my 2018 Reading Challenge, I started a book by a fellow student. (I enrolled in a writing craft workshop instead of trying to read everything from every possible source.) A novel out of my genre range and not something I would normally pick up based on the cover. Also a project I knew was guided by an instructor I have developed a respect for, and whose lessons have been applied successfully if sometimes painfully, to our projects.

I made it to Chapter Three and set the novel aside. The rules were followed. The writing is tight and free of superfluous adverbs. And I don’t care one bit about these characters. So, I asked our teacher, (praying he isn’t another ego driven snake oil salesman) “Why did you let the author do that? Why are the first three chapters stilted, cliche backstory? Why didn’t you ask ‘why should I care about these people’?”  The response? “I can only give you the tools and my opinion. Ultimately the application and the lessons and what ends up in the novel is up to the writer. Something to remember as self-publishers.”

As I was thinking about the blog this week, an article popped up in my social media. Whose Writing Advice Should You Follow?  It’s a great mental check for learning anything. Melissa Donovan saved the best piece of her advice for the end. It struck my truth chord and reinforces my take-away as I read and considered the set aside novel.

If you’re getting your work done and improving your writing skills with each project, you’re probably already on the right path. As you pick up new bits of writing advice, experiment with them and see if they have a positive impact on your work. Remember, writing advice exists to help all of us become better writers. Know your goals. Take the writing advice you need, when you need it. Be willing to experiment. But most importantly, keep writing.

So as we plow forward with Winter’s Thaw, I’ll more flexible with description. I actually like knowing what characters look like. And a complete hardass about starting IN the action. WT is going to be even better than Eden’s Fall.

Have you ever been overwhelmed with advice?  Too many concepts at once? (hot men, health, circus monkeys etc will be covered in later blog posts) Too many cooks in your kitchen?



Psst! Send us a screenshot of your Stay review and get the first five chapter’s of Eden’s Fall FREE!