Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Deciding That Writing Tips Won't Work For You

There's no shortage of writing tips on the internet, here or on any of thousands of writing sites. Sure, some tips are idiotic and useless. But in most cases the usefulness or idiocy of a tip is a matter of perspective.

Here's the thing: You actually have to think creatively to take a tip that works for someone else and figure out why that same tip won't work for you. Did it occur to you that it takes the exact same amount of creativity to take that tip and tweak it so that it can work for you?

That's why the next time you see a writing tip that won't work, change your perspective.

The value isn't from the tip itself. The value comes entirely from your reaction. If you approach a tip from the perspective of someone actively looking for solutions and ideas, you'll find them. However, if you slip into ego-protection mode and you find yourself defending yourself from advice, no tip will ever be good enough for you.

The irony is both are self-fulfilling prophecies. If you think a tip won't work for you, you'll be right. If you think it will work, you'll also be right. Both perspectives are true.

Which perspective is a more productive use of your energy?

Do you defend yourself from advice? Or do you seek it out and embrace it?