In this post are five reasons I don’t like giving (or receiving) writing advice.

I’ve been a writer for most of my life. What I’ve written and how I’ve written it has certainly evolved over the years. But what I learned about writing didn’t come from the advice I came across online. There has genuinely been no writing hack in existence that has ever helped me. In fact, much of the writing advice or hacks I encountered online over the years have hindered my writing, or writing process, when I followed them.

So, how could it be that I, a writer, don’t like giving (or receiving) writing advice? Shouldn’t I want to keep learning about writing? And help others learn what I already know about writing? Sure, but…

Five reasons I don’t like giving writing advice

  1. A lot of writing advice out there is too generic and not personally tailored or relevant to each unique writer. Writers come from all walks of life and all across the globe, so it’s silly to think they should all write the same way and follow the same practices. For example, not everyone can or wants to write first thing in the morning. Not every writer has the same type of audience or speaks the same language (literally and metaphorically). And not all writers have the same educational background. Etc.
  2. We’re human writers, not robots. There’s a lot of advice or hacks out there for writing more and faster, which is ridiculous. The best way to be a better writer is to keep writing and continually fine-tune your own authentic voice. Who cares if you wrote twenty posts in an hour, especially if they’re all rubbish and one post would have been more meaningful?
  3. The best way to learn how to write better is by reading and studying examples of writing you admire, not the writing examples someone else told you to admire. In other words, if you don’t actually enjoy what you’re reading enough to study it on your own, why would you want to try and emulate it? And, are you really interested in being a better writer if you don’t do this already?
  4. To be the best writer you can be, you need to keep writing until you discover your own authentic voice. Using others’ writing as an example to emulate can offer you a good place to start your own writing journey. But you won’t ever be able to be another writer and write exactly like them because you’re not them. And that’s a good thing because why would you want to be someone else anyway? You have your own unique voice that the world needs to experience.
  5. Reading irrelevant or negative writing advice (which is a majority of writing advice out there right now, honestly) is demotivating and won’t keep you writing long-term, which is necessary if you want to be a writer. If you’re constantly being told you’re not writing well enough, things to avoid when writing, things to not write about or do while writing, etc., it’s likely you’ll stop writing altogether because you never feel like you are a writer or that your writing is good enough. You’ll also never be focusing on what you are doing and writing.

Sorry to say, but there is no quick way out there to be a better writer. The only way to be a better writer is to stay inspired to write and keep writing. No advice or hack will ever change that.

I like to do this instead

Read those books, articles, and posts that inspire you to keep writing. If you keep reading things you find interesting or meaningful in some way, or pieces that motivate you to write, you’ll stay inspired to write until you find your own authentic voice and are comfortable using it.

In a nutshell, what I’m saying in this draft of a post is that writing inspiration via other writers’ writing–writing that you admire, and find interesting or meaningful– will always be more valuable and influential to your own writing than nonsensical, generic, or negative writing advice. Some writing advice you come across will apply to you, and some will not. But it’s not really the advice you’re looking for anyway, is it? It’s not for me. What I’m truly seeking as a writer is writing inspiration that inspires me to be the best authentic writer I can be. And that’s why…

All daily writing prompts on this blog will go back to being free from now on, because I want this blog to be one of those blogs that continue to inspire you, and me, to keep writing.

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