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Yeah, there's a lot of crap advice out there. To the extent that I've succeeded in this business, it's in spite of all the advice I've read, not because of any of it.

Good luck, and I hope you're able to make writing fun for yourself again!
 

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I never started reading about writing. I just wrote.  ;D It's not a theory I studied the formula of, it's something I feel.
 

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Joe Vasicek said:
Yeah, there's a lot of crap advice out there. To the extent that I've succeeded in this business, it's in spite of all the advice I've read, not because of any of it.
A good rule of thumb: ignore any headline that begins "Ten [or insert number of your choice] things you are doing wrong RIGHT NOW." Another good rule: If someone insults you, don't give them money.
 

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Perhaps he learned more than he thought he did, reading about writing--then reached his personal limit. I get this. I really do. And I get that many cannot afford all the advice to spend money that they don't have on things they are capable of doing themselves. And it's depressing to keep hearing the same old spend, spend, spend when personal bank accounts say otherwise.

In the end, writers need to write and (in these times) publish as they see fit. Money can buy fancy covers and even professional blurbs, but it can't buy story-telling skills.

Letting too many voices swarm in the creative brain can paralyze it.
 
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There is a point when the advice becomes repetitive. You've picked up what might help you and learned to discard the rest. Then it is time to take a step back. I also found that true of writing books. I actually am donating quite a few to the library. They were helpful at the time, but I know I'll never re-read them. The ones that I go to during different parts of the writing process remain on my bookshelf in my office. No point buying more of the same. If I'm truly intrigued, I check the book out from the library. If it's a winner, I buy it. I haven't bought one in a very long time.
 

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I probably have a couple hundred books on writing and publishing over the years. I've gotten to the point much of what I read in how-to books I've read before. And as for the advice, I haven't found much of it to work too well. There are a few how-to books I like to read over and over, but they are few.
 

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EC Sheedy said:
Letting too many voices swarm in the creative brain can paralyze it.
Exactly.

I still enjoy reading about the industry, but I've definitely gotten turned off to writing-craft books/blogs of late. The last one I picked up was written by an author whose books I have really enjoyed, and so I assumed the advice would be invaluable. In fact, I found the opposite. The things that the author was saying "you must do" were exactly the things I had liked least about this person's otherwise great fiction. It became clear to me that the author was forcing these tenets on his own work, because he'd bought into this concept, and not because the story actually demanded it.

I'm not saying all writing-craft talk is useless, but just because a successful author uses a specific concept in his work, doesn't mean that concept will work for anyone else, nor does it mean it even works for him!
 

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Joe Vasicek said:
Yeah, there's a lot of crap advice out there. To the extent that I've succeeded in this business, it's in spite of all the advice I've read, not because of any of it.
That's a bold statement. So you've succeeded in spite of all of the incredibly helpful advice you've read here over the years. Nothing you've read here has helped you? It all would have hurt you if you hadn't had the wisdom to ignore it?

Forgive me if I don't buy that.
 

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I like to read about writing. I don't follow blogs, but stick to better thought out books, and am still learning plenty. Libbie Hawker's book, for example, had tons of good advice.
 

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I just finished Dean Wesley Smith's book "Writing into the Dark" -- loved it. Sort of validated what I'd already thought about some things, but I needed validation on those things. For me, I like to read something on craft once in a while, hear what people have to say. That's why I peeked into this thread :)
 

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I've read a lot of books like Stephen King's On Writing and Janet Evanovich's Show don't tell that helped me a lot. I can definitely tell the difference in my writing after I started paying more attention to some of the points they made. It may not be for everyone, but I'm all for learning anything I can from people with that kind of success. But no, I don't just listen to anyone.
 

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It would bother me less if it were a memoir of their writing craft. I love those things.

Though when it's called advice it feels egregious to me.
 

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This from the post that the OP linked to:
"But reading the same shit over and over again was too much for me. At this point in time, there are certain websites that I may never go back to again. It's a little vow I have taken. I know exactly what I'm going to find. Advice that I can't take, advice that is just plain wrong for my circumstances, and advice that starts off with a certain set of assumptions that in the longer term did more harm than good.

Don't think that's not personal, because it is.

You've taken all the joy out of something that used to be fun.

Screw you."


I think the guy was talking more about the how-to-be-successful-self publishing info out there than reading a craft book for your own interest and self-improvement. There is always a time to Nike the thing and just do it. I don't know why he's feeling so angry about the learning curve and the necessary data sifting that comes with it, but I understand his angst. I think. It's like sometimes I just have to turn off CNN...

EC who is mad collector and reader of craft books and doesn't see that addiction ending any time soon... :-[
 

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I can see the OP's point to a certain degree.  In the past month, I have literally taken a fire hose of written and spoken word information about self-publishing into my my eyes and ears.  I've been listening to podcasts (Rocking Self Publishing, Sell More Books, Self Publishing Podcast) non-stop and reading books, articles, blog pieces, and posts here. 

My writing career officially started in the 2013 and was trending slowly up, but the indie scene has been evolving around me and my sales have stagnated.  I think it is valuable to spend time learning, but nothing should come in the place of the writing. 

I think balancing learning with creation is important.
 

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Analysis paralysis is a very real thing. It's when you hit that moment of overload, of having so much information about how to do something, much of it starts to sound like it is contradicting each other and you end up completely creatively stymied by it.

Early in my writing career I fell into that trap. It's a hard cycle to break out of.

EC Sheedy said:
EC who is mad collector and reader of craft books and doesn't see that addiction ending any time soon... :-[
Heh. I am, too. I feel like everything has one thing that is a takeaway that I can use.
 

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stoney said:
Analysis paralysis is a very real thing. It's when you hit that moment of overload, of having so much information about how to do something, much of it starts to sound like it is contradicting each other and you end up completely creatively stymied by it.

Early in my writing career I fell into that trap. It's a hard cycle to break out of.

Heh. I am, too. I feel like everything has one thing that is a takeaway that I can use.
Hey, it's your first post, Stoney! Welcome!
 

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At this point in time, there are certain websites that I may never go back to again. It's a little vow I have taken.
Louis,

There are a few blogs I don't go to anymore, either. I know what you mean about it seeming like they were talking directly to me. I even donated money to a cause because one had promised a guest slot on the blog to each author who donated. That never panned out, and it's been a couple years.

My takeaway is that yeah, I'm not that author's friend. I'm being marketed to and told what I want to hear.

I hope you don't mean kboards, though. Yeah, I no longer read every post, but I do still pick up useful bits of info here.
 
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