Terrible Writing Advice from Other Writers and Why You Shouldn’t Take It

According to some experts, there are only two kinds of talent: art and mathematics. Although, I can’t remember who said that, I believe it’s true! The written word is no comparison to other art forms like movies, music or television. Story-telling is the oldest and truest form of art and therefore, writing is a talent.

But how does one go about nurturing this gift? Who to ask for advice and who to listen to? If you’re like most writers, you use the Internet for a plethora of advice – from the most offensive to the most supportive. I normally just ignore those articles. But sometimes, I find myself curious enough to read in the hopes that, the advice is worth a pretty penny.

Too much written detail spoils the broth

This advice sometimes inhibits your masterful gift of gab! It tells you to write only when you need to say something or have something in mind. So they want you to shut up and K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). But what if your writing acumen is so engrossing; your details are what keep your readers hooked on everything you describe. One author set the rule at ten to twelve words per sentence! That’s impossible if you’re asking your readers to picture the sprawling plantation of Tara in Gone With The Wind. Inconceivable especially if you’re describing an enchanting lady, with jet black hair and mesmerizingly blue eyes who dreadfully dies a mysteriously tragic death. Hints of Edgar Allan Poe come to mind. So you see, sometimes, less is not more.


Writers have the freedom to diverge from the norm. Keyword here is FREE. Which is why it is artistically accepted to disobey punctuation rules, well sometimes. This is not Composition 101 anyway. In particular, the use of semi-colons, who Kurt Vonnegut describes as “transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing.” But they do have a purpose! And it’s your writing style that we’re cultivating here. Never mind what Vonnegut says.

Forget motherhood

One forgettable advice I’ve read from writers is this: You want to be a serious writer? Don’t become a mom! For them, serious writing will be borne out of total seclusion from the world where only you and your thoughts linger. Some famous writers made masterpieces after being one with thought. Maybe isolation develops creativity. Speaking from experience, motherhood has taken me to a new level of ingenuity. I am more sensitive and reaching out. I’m an entirely different jigsaw puzzle put back together.

The final analysis

It all boils down to this: Have Confidence. Don’t believe everything you read, especially the negative ones. Not all advice is right but others should be carefully weighed. One could go crazy thinking about these sometimes quirky or contradictory advices. Remember, the foundation of your very own writing style will come out from this confidence – a confidence that’s often misunderstood and suppressed. Hey, you’ve got that talent after all! Not only is it a work of art – it’s actually a work of heart.

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