How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Advice is Like Snow

"Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind" --Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge quote || Advice is like snow | critique groups | writing advice

I've been thinking about advice ever since my dad said he won't give it anymore. Which was months and months ago. Yesterday, I was thinking about my fabulous critique group. And now, I have another comparison for what advice is like.

Advice is also like a critique. As a writer, I welcome critiques. I expect them to be honest, thorough, helpful, and sprinkled with the goodness of praise. As a human, I don't necessarily welcome critiques (or opinions) - of character, flaws, weaknesses, problems, etc. that I may have. But advice? Advice is usually welcomed when asked for, just like a critique from your writing partners.

So...if someone asks for advice, don't hold back. Start with something positive. Give your opinion on what they specifically want. If they didn't value your opinion, they wouldn't be asking for your feedback. End with a second or third positive statement. In a critique group, we want, ask for, and expect advice in the form of a critique. If someone asks you for personal advice, then they trust your experiences and your judgment. Just like a critique, the author may or may not USE your advice, but listening to it is still helpful and effective.


2 comments:

  1. Very true! When I ask for advice, even if I don't follow it, I'm always sincere, and I always learn from it. I like your suggestions of padding it with positivity. Very wise!

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  2. Sometimes I wish I HAD taken the advice of others. Alas, sometimes we humans can be a bit stubborn. Listening to advice is like living vicariously through someone else's experiences.

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