My advice is a bit of an oxymoron; a writing tip that suggests you ignore the vast majority of writing tips.
When me and my partner were expecting our first child, we did what most new parents do and bought a number of parenting manuals to try and help prepare us for the daunting task ahead. What I discovered afterwards was that, whilst out of 100 parenting tips I might have found half a dozen or so useful, the other 90 odd caused us no end of stress as we discovered the vast majority of these proven techniques didn’t work on our son. Was he broken? Were we rubbish parents? What was going on?
It wasn’t until our second child was born that I began to fully understand. I’d heard other people say that you never get two the same, and this was true. Tips that were great for my son, suddenly didn’t work for my daughter. Likewise, advice that had failed spectacularly for him was now very relevant to her. This is the thing; every piece of advice will be relevant to someone. But, the vast majority of it is irrelevant to the vast majority of people. Therefore, when soon to be parents ask me for parenting advice now, I tell them to ignore it all. It might sound odd, but I found finding my own path far more useful than muddling through trying to emulate other peoples techniques.
I apply the same logic to writing advice. Like children, no two stories are exactly the same and, like parents, neither are two authors. Therefore, you may see a writing tip on social media, “Try and write at least 100 words every single day,” for example. But your lifestyle may not allow for it, and then you’ll lose heart thinking that if you can’t even do that, how will you ever be a writer?
The answer is that, when you are ready you will find your own way. You’ll find things that work for you and your story that won’t work for everybody else, just as we find ways to connect with our kids that are never covered in parenting manuals. But trying to apply other people’s advice can cause endless stress and issues with confidence if you’re not able to emulate them to your own satisfaction.
Therefore, my advice would be to ignore it all, where possible, and create your own path. You may surprise yourself by discovering how good you are at it.
Adam Guest is a 35-year-old father of two from Walsall, West Midlands, in the UK. He is also the author of the ‘Many Worlds’ series of novels, which follow the multiple lives of the various characters as their actions send them on different routes through the multiverse. You follow him on Twitter @adamguestwfc and check out his work at manyworldsnovels.net or on Amazon.