Six hours on the highway and what do I remember most about Sunday’s trip? The couple hours making our way through a near whiteout.
Wind drove the snow horizontally at us, at times obliterating the scenery and obscuring the road. We crawled along until, with a swirl, the snow would be whipped thin and we would catch glimpses of the vehicles ahead of us.
As we cautiously descended the mountainous route, weather and road conditions improved until once again things were in focus and we could relax and enjoy the trip.
There are times when I study the writing advice offered by many experienced authors and industry professionals and begin to feel as if I’m in an informational whiteout. With words of good counsel coming at me from every direction it’s sometimes hard to discern the best route.
A cautious and common sense approach applies here, too.
- Consider the source
Not all self-promoted sources are equally qualified to offer advice. Some information should be taken as opinion based on personal experience… experience that may not be the professional norm. I look to successful authors, agents and editors for recommendations.
- Balance information with application
We can be blinded by reams of information from books, blogs, speakers and critiquers. Better to alternate research with writing, putting information into practice as we discover what best applies to our writing style.
- Trust your instincts
As their creator we should know what we want our stories to accomplish. Once we’ve learned the basics of good writing, completed a few novels and shared them with appropriate readers for feedback, it’s time to evaluate suggestions and advice. Not every recommendation will fit with our purpose. We must learn to depend on the judgment of a trusted editor or agent, but also on our own instincts.
These are my basic guidelines for navigating an overwhelming storm of writing information. What else have you found important?