Hello, everyone! This is S. L. Saboviec, and I’m pleased to be a guest today on Brian’s blog. I’m author of the Adult Paranormal novel Guarding Angel, and I’m here to talk about writing advice.
Spend five minutes looking at the #writetip feed, and you’ll find truckloads of advice. Some good, some bad, most repetitive. I don’t need to give you good advice; you know it when you hear it. I’m going to talk about some bad advice I’ve heard, and why it’s so ridiculous.
Bad Advice #1: Write at least four hours a day.
This particularly spectacular piece of bad advice comes from On Writing by Stephen King. Let me caveat by saying that I love that book. It’s actually chock full of inspiring, thought-provoking, good advice. But this one was bad. Real bad. It actually quite upset me when I first read it.
Look, Stephen King, not all of us are bajillionaire bestselling authors like you. Some—dare I say, most—of us have nine-to-five jobs. And family. And friends. And have to do our own cooking, cleaning, and brushing of teeth with normal, not gold-encrusted, toothbrushes. For most of us, four hours is, like, astronomical, and an inability to commit to that does not make us failures.
I kid, Stephen King, really. I love ya, and I know you only had our best intentions at heart. But “Find time to write every day, even if only for five minutes” would have been a realistic standard that you could have given us.
Bad Advice #2: To make it as a writer, it is essential that you blog.
I appreciate people who blog, obviously—I’m on a blog tour right now. Thank you, Brian, for keeping a blog! Thank you, everyone else who has hosted me, for keeping a blog!
But if you’re like me and the thought of blogging makes you want to pound your head against the wall so you can become hospitalized with a concussion and have a legitimate excuse not to blog for a week…
Spend your time writing stuff you like. Spend your time marketing in other ways. Spend your time doing something you actually enjoy doing. You know why? Because if you’re hating every second of something, it’s going to come across to your readership. Then you’re going to struggle to blog. Nobody’s going to read it. And you’re going to struggle to blog some more.
That sounds not very fun to me.
So find other ways to find fans. A ton exist. You just need to find them. Is it easy? No. But it’s better than doing something you absolutely loathe.
Bad Advice #3: When someone leaves a review, never talk to them about it. However, make sure you always thank reviewers because you don’t want to seem aloof or ungrateful. But remember that Goodreads and Amazon are for readers, not writers, so don’t go talking to anyone. Still, readers love to hear from their favorite authors, so hang out where your readers are and engage them!
Make up your mind, people.
My advice? If you’re an author struggling for exposure on social media, don’t act like a drunk girl on her first spring break, begging for attention, any kind of attention at all.
That pretty much covers it.
The Best Writing Advice I Ever Got
Find what works for you and do that. If that means writing five minutes a day, write five minutes a day. If that means talking to your readers, talk to your readers. If that means plotting or pantsing, plotty pantsing or pantsy plotting, if that means naming all your characters “Chad” on the first draft, do those things. If it gets the words on paper, do it. If it inspires you to write just a little bit more, don’t do it.
Whatever it takes to motivate you to write, that’s what you should do. You’re the only one who can tell the story in your own unique way—so you’re the only one that knows the path to getting yourself there.
So basically what I’m saying is—stop listening to people on the internet.
Perhaps even me.
Reaping Angel, will be released in early 2016.
Thank you, Brian, for having me here today!