Writing Tips: What Are They Good For?




How much do you pay attention to writing tips? There are a wealth of them to be found online and many of them contradict each other. Even the grammar rules are there to be broken (though of course it helps to have some knowledge of what you’re breaking). I’ve often thought it’s really down to the individual writer; everyone is different and we all have our own way of doing things.

I’m not dumping on anyone that gives out regular advice – I read it and appreciate it. I’m still an amateur so I try to absorb as much about my chosen craft as I can. It’s the same when learning anything. You need to know the basics before you can start striking out on your own. It’s only when you start reading all the different advice that you realise how many options are open to you. There are so many different ways to do it.

It can be overwhelming in fact. It helps to have some kind of built in tip-filter where you can sieve out the chunks that you know will be useful to you. Of course it means you have wade through a lot of unusable information to find what you need but it is worth it in the end.

Maybe it would be useful to compile a list/book of writing tips that are specific to you and only you (this is an idea that’s just walloped me on the back of the head so I haven’t actually done it yet. But once the concussion passes, I’ll be right on it). And you can add to it any time you find something relevant. That way you’ve got everything in one place when you need a boost. I keep random quotes and ideas scattered around but I don’t have a particular place to keep them all. I used to when I was younger; I had a scrapbook where I would scribble quotes and paste newspaper cuttings I thought were interesting. When I went back to it later I realised it was mostly the cartoons I had kept. Oh well, not surprising really.

So that’s my thought for the day – learn your craft, break the rules and only keep what’s relevant to you.


7 thoughts on “Writing Tips: What Are They Good For?

  1. Despite giving out writing tips on an almost daily basis I have to say that when I’m reading about writing tips I always take them with a pinch of salt. It all depends on experience and trial and error. Most of the time people write about things I already know, but it is still great to read and listen to advice, just don’t take it all the time.

    • I like reading your writing tips and they are actually some that I do pay heed to! I do find most tips have been said before but you’re right, it’s good to be reminded and sometimes a fresh perspective is what we need 🙂

  2. This is a great idea and one I think I could utilise very effectively. I really should jot down all of the tips I’ve read that have helped me and keep them close at hand for use again in the future.

    I completely agree that first and foremost, a new writer needs to learn the basics and pay attention to the rules in the beginning. It is only when a writer has a certain amount of experience and/or confidence that they can pick and choose which rules they want to follow. I think the craft of writing is very much about finding one’s own style and voice.

  3. I agree with this completely. Advice is great, but it’s easy to get swamped in how much there is out there. Sometimes you just got to trust yourself and your own skills.

    • Definitely, you know yourself when something seems right. If you’re following advice just because someone with more “authority” said it you will get lost. Following your instincts is partly why we do this in the first place 🙂

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