Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M = Make the Most of Free Advice on Writers' Forums


If you ask for advice, and someone offers it to you, take it. Take it, write it down, and follow it, especially if more than one person is giving you the same advice. 

Don’t ask for advice and then ignore it. 

Don’t ask for advice and then give a list of reasons why you can’t/won’t/don’t need to follow it. 

Don’t ask for advice and tell the more experienced person he’s wrong.


I feel like Forrest Gump now, because that’s all I have to say about that.

57 comments:

  1. I agree with the part that if two or more people give you the same advice then there's got to be something to it. Heck, even one person giving you a piece of advice should make a person reassess.

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    1. If only everyone realized that, Nana. When anyone gives advice, it never hurts to look at it and see if that advice might have merit.

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  2. Just stopping by from the A-Z list to say "Hi" and wish you good luck with the rest of the challenge :)

    What i can't stand is when fellow writers ask me for advice and then argue with me when i give it because they don't agree *rolls eyes* lol x

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    1. I'm rolling my eyes right along with you, Vikki. I always wonder why they asked in the first place.

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    1. Why, thank you, ma'am! I felt that short & sweet ruled the day.

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  4. The trouble is, Lynda, we can be stubborn - well, I can.
    "I must listen to advice", and from this moment I'll have to make this my mantra.

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    1. Remember, Fanny, I'm going to psychoanalyze you for free (as I promised the other day). I'll make sure you don't forget your mantra. Never fear, Lynda is here!

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  5. Lynda,
    I have to say that I love these daily posts. When the A-Z Challenge is over, I'm going to miss the fresh content here every day. Perhaps you're enjoying it so much you've decided to blog daily from here on out? Well, here's hoping!
    Oh, and...Gump-isms are never a bad way to end a post.

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    1. Thanks, Elle. I'm enjoying the daily stuff but will admit freely that I'll be happy to go back to Mondays and Thursdays when April is over. I'm not entirely sure I have enough interesting things to say for daily posts, unless I'd make them into an exciting "tune in next time" series. And when I say "exciting," I mean "boring." :)

      And yet, today I can say, "Come back tomorrow for an exciting adventure with the letter 'N'!"

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    1. Well, *I* am, and *you* are...it's the rest of the people we need to worry about. :)

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  7. I love to read how other writers do things. Especially the things that I am not doing. I know that if/when I get blocked there is something else to try to "unclog" things.

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    1. I find it fascinating to learn how and why people do things a certain way. It helps me tweak what I'm doing.

      I like the idea of "unclogging." :)

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  8. I crave advice from those more knowledgable and never turn my nose up on them...unless they're wrong :P (Ahem, which usually they're not! lol)

    ~~~~~~~~~~"Mama says, 'Stupid is as stupid does.'"~~~~~~~~~~

    (I'm not calling anyone stupid, I'm just randomly throwing a Forrest Gump quote out there...very randomly o_o)

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    1. Dang, I should be answering everyone with Gump-isms. I don't know where my head is today.

      Well at least you know MY advice is always correct. Right? Right?? Hellooooooo?

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    2. Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're gonna get....so your advice: I don't know. Maybe? :P

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  9. Succinct works. Did Forrest's mama say that, too?

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    1. I'll bet she did. She also said, "What's normal, anyway?"

      That's my motto.

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  10. You can certainly learn a lot from other writers!

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  11. Why on earth would anybody ignore free advice? I say, listen to what he/she has to say. There has to be a little gem in there... something you can benefit from. You have nothing to lose.

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    1. Why, indeed? Ego, I suppose, might have something to do with it, but hey, free advice is...well, it's FREE!

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  12. Hi Lynda,

    Good advice and I certainly wont ignore it. If we don't take the advice on board, then why ask for it in the first place. Indeed, good advice.

    Gary :)

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    1. Thanks, Gary! All advice is worth at least considering.

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  13. Hah! Yes! I've seen it too many times. I try not to be that person. An "Awesome, thank you," will suffice if you can't possibly agree with the suggestions, followed by a heavy dose of time and consideration. =)

    True Heroes from A to Z

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    1. Trying not to be "that person" is the first step toward good writing.

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  14. Agreed! The blogosphere has taught me so much about being a writer.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)


    (p.s. I would listen to Alan Rickman read a grocery list too ;)

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    1. And if Alan Rickman gave me advice...well, let's just say I'd take it.

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  15. I usually resent it when someone seeks me out for my advice and then ignores it. That's not necessarily where writing is concerned, either.

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    1. This does work across the board, doesn't it? If you're not going to follow it (or even consider it), stop asking me.

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  16. Yes if you ask for advice then you must feel like the person can help you. Although some people ask for advice so they can complain to you. Great post.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

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    1. I have a relative who has done that for years...all so she can complain to me under the guise of "asking for advice" which she has never, ever followed.

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  17. I tire of people who request my grammatical expertise on some issue and then say, I cain't do nothin' like that. Splendid! Leave me alone.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. You ain't goin' for that, is ya? Me neither.

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  18. I homeschool my teens, which allows me the other side of this one once in a while. It drives me crazy when they ask my advice, argue with it and then ignore it.

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    1. Yes, and a thousand times yes again. We homeschool also, and you'd think they'd trust by now that I do know what I'm talking about at least most of the time...

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  19. Exactly. Why ask if it's only to say no to a good opinion. Well said! And that's all I have to say on the matter. :)
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

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  20. I agree!

    Following from Blogging AtoZ.
    I'm writing "Things My Husband Has Broken" A to Z at http://AMomsPointOfView.com
    Come by and check it out.

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    1. Kimberly, I visited your blog and I think your theme is hilarious.

      Thank you for visiting, and especially for agreeing with me. :)

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  21. Not all advice givers are created equal. Some are downright wrong. I love Dean Koontz, but he never writes a second draft and doesn't believe in revising. As he states in his book Writing Popular Fiction: "No financially successful, critically acclaimed writer I know has let himself get caught in the "fix it in a later draft" trap. Without fail, however, the hopeless amateur clings to this fallacious theory..." Can you imagine never allowing yourself to get feedback or revise? It may work for him, but few others.

    So politely thank anyone kind enough to give you advice, but you don't necessarily need to take it.

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    1. Lexa, I will grant you that: not all advice is necessarily good advice. I'd never heard that about Koontz, but I can't imagine his method working for...oh, about 99% of the population of writers out there.

      The ones that get me, though, are the ones who ask and then argue with the more experienced person.

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  22. I have the same feeling when students ask how to fix their papers to get a better A and then explain to me why it's better the way it is.

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    1. ...ignoring the fact that it's obviously not better the way it is, or they wouldn't be asking for advice in the first place.

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  23. O am gonna weigh in here. Hmmm 300lbs. Okay, first if you ask for advice, always take it under advisement. If you get it from random people it may be good or not so good. If you get it from people you trust (like Lynda) then you give it more credence. But, the advice you receive is not always the best advice. Now advice on Mechanics of writing should come with someone that knows. Advice on your story itself is a little more ticky, you know your story best of all. But if you have several people tell you your plot has holes so big you could drive a Mack truck through it that is most likely true. Ok enough unsolicited advice for now about ... advice.

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    1. Where did my K go in ok? Lynda did you take it ?

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    2. Yes, I decided that "O" was much more dramatic than "OK" so I sent my brain waves over to your fingers and stopped them from typing the K. You must admit it has a certain classic quality now. I would have changed it to "Lo" but didn't want to slow you down.

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  24. Its true when Gump says, 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.'

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    1. Unless you bite the bottoms and put them back in the box. ;)

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  25. I love free advice and I loved Forrest Gump! It's just advice after all. If it doesn't work, well you can always do something else. And the best part is you didn't spend anything to get it.

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  26. I try to store away all the advice I get. Even if I couldn't use it immediately, I may need it down the road. I have a file folder with scraps of paper and cafe napkins with tidbits of wisdom on them. I should go back and look at them one of these days.
    Elizabeth at http://scribblinginthestorageroom.wordpress.com

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    1. Kind of like keeping a binder with great home improvement ideas. You take all into consideration, narrow it down to your actual needs, and move forward.

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  27. I'd love to take your advice, but I spotted several mentions of Don't in your advice and I hate being told what I cannot do.

    So there.

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    1. Okay, then, don't take my advice. (Trying out the ol' reverse psychology when all else fails.)

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    2. Haha, that won't work with me, Lynda. Thought you knew me better than that.

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I love comments, and will always answer them, partly because I like having the last word and partly because I just like getting to know the people who read my blog. (Note: if the post is more than a couple weeks old, your comment will automatically go into the "needs approval" folder, but I will still publish it and reply!)