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.