Hi, folks, welcome to the blog. This month I will touch on what waters creatives. What causes us to break through walls, to open up new avenues, and spring up? Hopefully my musing will help you create your master works.
Here are my first watering words: take advice. I think that many writers shy away from the good advice. I also understand why. We are the creative force behind our works, and no one wants someone messing with that. Here's the dealy, you are not going to move forward until you learn to listen and learn to act. The following three cases may help you make the leap you have been longing to make.
I think we can be prideful about the advice given. Why should I listen to someone who hasn't got a best seller in her credits? You are going to pay a ton of money for advice, you could have gotten from a critique group for nothing. To this person, you must join a critique group and for a period of about six months and make a promise to yourself. "I will let go of my ways and do what my critique group recommends." I mean it -- even if it means putting aside the novel you have been slaving over for 20 years, even if it means changing you POV character in you novel, even if it means switching a whole novel from third person to first person present. Take every bit of advice. Truth: it won't all work. Truth: You will now know what does work. Truth: You are going to make the biggest leaps of your entire career.
Another group is afraid to take advice. They are plagued with self-doubt, unwilling to believe they can indeed pull off the magical advice that has come their way. They have a difficult time believing they can be more. Oh, self-doubters, I want to hug you now. First stop sabotaging good advice by telling yourself you are not as good as the advice giver, best selling authors, whoever. Don't worry about what other people think. Oh, my gosh, start listening to your fans! They love you. Stop minimizing your works. Think about what you want and whisper that to yourself every time you work on challenging advice. Here is my little mantra: "You will finish this book. You will find an agent. You will find a publisher. You will find an audience. You are trying -- the most important ingredient of success."
One more group doesn't listen to advice because they just don't understand it. Repetitive advice may indicate the author lacks a skill set. If you are getting a lot of feedback that relates to grammar, story structure, POV, etc. that it is not going away no matter what you do to your work. You are suffering from ignorance and need to shore up what is lacking . You need to learn a thing or two. No biggie. If you are getting specific feedback -- read a book, work through exercises, or take a class. This is the only way to act on the advice given and finding the road to success.
I hope that you have a happy time taking advice successfully. I hope that you move forward with all that you wish to do. See you next week with more April showers.
Here's some advice from one of my favorite writers.
Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.
- Gordon Dickson