I'm so done.
I'm done reading all the writing advice. All the conflicting opinions of how I must do this or that if I want to be a successful author have become burdensome.
It's been probably about two years since I received my last writer's magazine in the mail.
Facebook feels heavy.
Twitter is impossible.
There are too many opinions and too many of them belong to people who seem to feel that they alone are the bearers of ultimate truth.
It's nothing short of exhausting and I've finally decided that I'm not having any of it any longer.
At one time, I thought I could give writing advice. In fact, that was the whole idea behind my first blog, Hunting the Muse. The funny thing is, giving writing advice wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to write.
But somehow, I fell into this trap of trying to attract readers, other bloggers, and everything I ran into seemed to suggest that I needed to provide tips, tricks, and gems of wisdom to grow my blog. I got sucked in, the result of which was a lot of writing about writing, but little actual writing.
Now, the annuls of Archive.org might prove me wrong, but I don't think I ever tried to tell my readers how they could be successful, seeing as that wasn't something I'd accomplished yet. The way I remember it, I mostly focused on the art of writing, of unleashing creativity. And that is something sorely lacking in much of the advice I encounter today.
Even so, it's all become too much for me to stomach for the time being.
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Thank you for understanding.
As a lifelong learner, I have to force myself to shift my focus. There comes a time when one must set aside the research and anecdotes of others and forge their own trail, learning from the lessons of doing rather than solely from those who have (or claim to have) done.
The problem with much of the writing advice out there today is that it is often linked to archaic, retooled bits of advice with just enough added spin to make it seem like it comes from personal experience. Another problem is observed when one takes a step back and sees how many in the "community" seek to profit from those who want to find their way.
There's nothing inherently wrong with being paid for your expertise, but it often feels like there's blood in the water and sharks abound.
I've been spending a greater portion of my time actually writing as of late. That isn't to say that I don't struggle with the same distractions as before, but I'm getting better at tuning out the incessant opinions.
This is my journey. And if I ever expect to publish the books I've been working on, I have to start eliminating these distractions.
There is a time and a place for everything. Perhaps it is time for you to read and listen and learn. For me, after years of doing all of the above and entire shelves full of advice, it's time for me to start doing. It's time for me to seize my dream.
Just to be clear, this post isn't about telling you how to proceed with your writing. I'm not trying to say that writing advice is worthless. But, like any gem of wisdom from an over-protective family member or friend, you've got to decide for yourself what fits and what does not.
I've just reached a point where the filter must go up for the writing to continue.