“Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.” ~Lev Grossman
Last night, I saw these gifs on tumblr from a video by Alice Oseman; this young British woman is the newly published author of Solitaire and she has a tumblr blog about writing and other fun things on the Internet. (Realized today that we both like the YouTuber Phil Lester.) In this video, she gives you comforting tips on how to get published. The seven steps she lays out are over-simplified, but amusing and probably helpful anyway. I’ve read about the publishing universe for the past eight years or so I didn’t learn anything new, except for maybe the first strep. I would recommend it; there’s a link at the bottom of this blog post.
Oseman says, “The good news is that writing literally has no rules whatsoever. So please, do not take the advice of writing blogs that tell you things like: Adverbs are banned, never use adjectives, prologues are always awful. It’s all lies. Just write whatever book you want to write. If you want to write a book about sparkly werewolf vampire boyfriends in a magical school… Just write it! Because we don’t know, it might be fabulous. We don’t know, you haven’t written it yet. Go write it, right now!”
Well, that statement kind of under-minds my blog’s very existence. Nonetheless, there’s truth to it. Whatever story you got to tell, you have to write it. If not to get it published, but for yourself, for your well-being. Yes, writing is healthy. Look it up.
Another thing that I liked hearing was that the rule about prologues, because I have heard from several people that prologues are pointless. Like an unnecessary preview. Funny enough, I thought about what those people said and concluded, “Nah, fuck it! I am gonna write a prologue. It’s needed.” And I wrote an awesome, funny prologue. I hope other people think it is, too.
My point is that writing advice is helpful, but sometimes you have to block it out. Especially if it makes you feel insecure. Like Oseman says, “Believe in yourself.”