Monday, April 15, 2019

The Write Advice

Did you just cringe at the blog post title? Are you contemplating it? Or do you just don't care? Guess what? All are okay. For it can be right to cringe over the wrong use of write. It can be right to think about it and see how it fits. It can even be right not to care and take it as it is. It can even be right to do all three. Come again?

Every person is an individual with strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, beliefs, and all kinds of other things. So what are you going to get? If you've been around a while you already know the answer. You are going to read conflicting advice, advice you disagree with, advice you agree with that doesn't work for you, advice you agree with that does work for you, and even advice you may think is nuts but works.

Writing advice is just that, advice. Or tips if you prefer that word. Either can be right. All can be right. All can be wrong. It all comes back to you.

You have to decide what works. You have to decide what doesn't. You have to decide for yourself. You have to do the work. Yep, there is no way around it. It all truly does come back to you. Thankfully, there are steps you can go through.

Step 1

Decide what you are looking for. Editing advice, marketing tips, etc.

Step 2

Search and gather that advice.

Step 3

Narrow what you have found down to the best 10. Or pick a number that is good for you.

Step 4

Decide what you want to learn and expand upon. Could do this sooner, but by seeing the advice collected, you could have a better idea about what you want to explore.

Step 5

Compare the advice to each other and your capabilities. Does it make sense? Are you able to do that or willing to give it a try? Does it fit in your budget?

Step 6

Fact check. There are many out there just after money or recommending useless things because they are an affiliate or something of the like. Double check anything that recommends a service. Scams and worthless so-called systems abound. You don't want to get caught up in those. Also, use common sense. If it sounds to good to be true, it almost always is. If you find anything guaranteeing sales or that you'll never have to edit a word after the first draft, better to turn and run the other way.

Step 7

Deploy the advice that you have gathered and remember that it is a marathon. Everything from writing to marketing takes time. You can't just go "poof" and have things done.

Step 8

Keep track of results. There is no sense in putting more money into an ad that did nothing the first time. There is no sense in following a writing schedule that you can't seem to follow.

Step 9

Adjust and continue to adjust until you find your groove.

Step 10

Rinse and repeat for the next aspect you are looking into.

Even this advice won't work for everyone, but you have just checked something else off that won't work for you. That means you are getting closer to something that may work. Only takes one tip or piece of advice to help you on your way and/or teach you. You just may have to wade through much to find what works.

And it should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway, completely ignore advice that sounds dumb. "Publish without ever editing" is just one such example.

Have you ever found any advice or tips that worked? Any that you thought would work but didn't? Can you spot the scams and crappy advice? Do you know anyone whose tips worked for them but not you?


L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is a really wise way to break down the process. Not every piece of advice or service or action fits. We have to be smart enough to decide what fits for us and for our book. Even John Kremer states that no author will ever use all 1001 Ways to Market Your Book because many of those tips won't fit the book or the writer.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great advice, Pat. And it's so true that each writer will have their own needs and different advice will appeal to different writers.

cleemckenzie said...

You're so right/write, Pat. I'm glad you included #6. There are a lot scammers out there and you want to put your money to good use, not bad.

Mirka Breen said...

I was likely already doing something similar, gathering advice and weeding out what isn't helpful to me. The second is at least as important as the first.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

There is an overwhelming amount of conflicting advice out there. Like write everyday, write what you know, etc. And everyone has advice to give. I tend not to do that much because I'm not an expert and what works for me might not work for anyone else.