Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Help! I’m Being Swamped By Writing Advice!!


Some is good for you, some is pure poison; and, one writer’s poison is another’s saving grace

Writing advice is ubiquitous and, as more folk enter the expanding arena of publishing, the advice has become a bit like a tsunami.

In a previous post about Joe Konrath, A Book Review In The Midst of A Publishing Firestorm…, I quoted Joe quoting someone else:

Baz Lurhmann once said: ‘Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.’”

I then followed that quote with lots of advice from Mr. Konrath :-)

Want more advice?

Try these past posts:

Some Publishing Advice from Two Extremely Successful Authors

Writing Resources & Advice ~ Tread Carefully…

Good Advice About Self-Publishing

The weird thing about this post is that I’m giving you advice about taking advice by giving you more advice

Naturally, I feel my advice is good but what’s the core meaning of “advice”?

“from L. visum, neuter pp. of videre ‘to see’”

So, just to round-out this advice-filled post, try an article from Writer’s Digest, 23 Timeless Quotes About Writing.

Here’s my favorite:

“Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.”
—Jim Tully, October 1923

What’s your best advice for writers??
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12 responses to “Help! I’m Being Swamped By Writing Advice!!

  1. Jane Watson April 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.”
    ~ George Orwell

    “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”  ~Anton Chekhov

    “Writing is like driving a car at night. You only see as far as your headlights go, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
    ~ E.L. Doctorow

    “As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me:  grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall.”  ~Virginia Woolf

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai April 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Well, Jane, it makes perfect sense that a writer like you would respond with such great quotes.

      My fav of this group is Virginia…

      Like this

  2. Barbara Blackcinder April 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I love the second quotation by Jane (E.L. Doctorow), I recognize myself in the dark.

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai April 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      That is a fine one, Barbara.

      Like this

  3. Jane Watson April 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I’ve *become* E.L.Doctorow!!! ??? (Jane passes out) Just joking, but thank you for your comment, Barb :) I see myself in the dark too. If you want to read a really fine short story about being a writer get hold of a collection called “Lives of The Poets” by E.L.Doctorow and read the story in it – ‘The Writer In The Family’ – one of my fav short stories…:)

    Like this

  4. Simone Benedict April 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I’d never heard the last quote you give by Jim Tully, but it describes how I feel about writing advice, generally. Simply put, the best advice under the sun won’t be helpful unless the writer is actually writing. So, just do it.

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai April 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      I’ve never even heard of Jim Tully, Simone, but the quote was good :-)

      Like this

      • Simone Benedict April 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        Don’t think I’ve heard of him either, Alexander, but a quick search shows him to be an American writer, Hollywood brawler, and son of an Irish ditch digger. I’m gonna check him out. He sounds like my kind of guy!

        Like this

        • Alexander M Zoltai April 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm

          Hey, he might even be from Kansas :-)

          Like this

          • Simone Benedict April 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm

            Ha! No, he was from Ohio where all our nation’s best writers are. :-)

            Like this

            • Alexander M Zoltai April 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

              Simone, flattery will get you to first base :-).

              Sorry, that’s as far as my Muse will let me go right now

              Like this

  5. Pingback: How To Write A Story? « Notes from An Alien

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