There are countless books, blogs, articles, podcasts, and videos offering up all kinds of writing advice. It’s everywhere, and it’s often contradictory. In fact, you could tie yourself up in knots trying to understand it all.
The important thing to remember, is that not all advice is good advice. And of that good advice, not all of it is right for you.
So, what one piece of writing advice would I give to my younger self (being so much older and wiser, as I am now!)
I’ve been writing since I was tiny, but I only ever viewed it as a hobby. It wasn’t until university, and an encouraging comment from my creative writing tutor, that I realised that, maybe, I could really do this. That I could make a career out of it.
Even before the self-publishing revolution, I decided to take my writing seriously. And I started to consume all of the advice. Reading writing magazines, digging through the internet. And I thought that I had to follow it all.
In fact, one piece of advice, from an author I greatly admire, almost stopped me writing altogether. The guilt, and the sense of failure by not being able to cram yourself into someone else’s mould, can be crippling.
And so, the one piece of writing advice I would give to my younger self is this: Stop worrying about how to become the kind of writer you think you should be, and have fun finding out what kind of writer you are.