Saturday, November 27, 2010

writing advice

Here’s my best advice about writing. Don’t take anyone’s advice about writing.

Not without the proverbial grain of salt or maybe a hundred grains anyway.

I love Robert Olen Butler’s book about writing FROM WHERE WE DREAM. I think it is one of the best books about writing I’ve read (there are a lot of bad ones out there it has to be said) but there are many things in that book I don’t agree with and can’t use.

Why? All writers are unique. Writing is one of the most personal, idiosyncratic activities around. What works for one writer might take the life out of another writer’s writing or at least lead them to do things that weaken some aspect of their writing.

Each writer has to find his or her way and take what he or she can from every source and leave the rest. It’s hard but finding your own way requires going the wrong way a lot.

So should you take my advice about writing to not take anyone’s advice about writing?

2 comments:

lindsey said...

Ahh...a conundrum for sure...but well said as usual.

brian yansky said...

Thanks, Lindsey.