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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group (5)

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.

Writerly advice . . . I don't give it.
Every so often, most writer's blogs tend to share advice and thoughts about writing, how-to's, publishing, etc. I don't do that. And its a bit strange (as far as I'm concerned) because I research these things to death. I have a thirst for knowledge, especially when its about something that I'm getting myself into, and well, I'm neck deep into this writing gig.

Here is the thing: I don't feel secure or comfortable enough to give advice. I am learning as I go and don't think I have any authority on the subject. Does it mean that I don't have anything helpful to share? Probably not. I mean, I know for a fact that my knowledge has helped at least one person: me. Okay, so that might not count since I obviously know how my own mind works. And me being me, what else would I say? Of course I've helped myself, I rock my world . . . wait, I think I'm getting off track here. Anyway. . .

Part of me wonders if maybe I'm just being selfish by not sharing what I learn. But when I really think about it, that's not why. I stop myself from "advising" because anyone can find information on the web, and I fear that I might not explain it as well as what's out there. Or that since I'm a newbie, I really have no business sharing anything at all. My insecurity makes me feel like I have to prove myself first. On the other hand, I suppose I can also argue that I'm protecting myself from sharing bad advice. I don't want to be responsible for anyone's negative outcome. So, if I do start telling you what to do give advice in the future, it would be after I've learned and experienced them for myself. Umm, a few times or so :-/

Now I'm wondering if this is a valid concern or if I'm being stupidly paranoid (Probably best not to answer this). Speaking of stupidly: stay away from using too many adverbs, you know. . . if you want. Don't take my word for it :P

28 comments:

  1. I'm actually exactly the same; I don't like to give advice on my blog, because I feel like I don't have the right knowledge or authority to do so. Maybe I will at some point in the future, when I've got a little more experience under my belt, but I feel like it's a long way away.

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    1. I feel its along way away for me as well, glad I'm not alone lol

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  2. I'm co-hosting IWSG this month. Nice to meet you. When I first started blogging, I was like you. I didn't want to misrepresent myself as an authority. What I've learned is to share my personal truths and what works for me. It doesn't mean it will work for anyone else, but you will be pleasantly surprised by the kind feedback you'll receive from others. Also, you just might help someone else along the way.

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  3. I don't blog about those things much either. Even after three books I don't feel qualified. Ironic I would open up a website listing links to all that information, huh?

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    1. lol Not ironic at all, links I feel are different than giving advice yourself. That website is quite helpful, thank you for it :)

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  4. I've had this exact conversation within myself, and continue to do so, many times. I told myself I might share my knowledge gained, once I've reached some level of success. But then of course, how do I judge success? I have advised about some things, like mental health, but always with the previso that it worked for me, and that may not be the case for them. It's difficult. I don't want to tell people to do this or that and get emails from disgruntled readers for whom my advice didn't pan out. But I would like to share more than I do. It's a tricky one. :) Best of luck. X

    shahwharton.com

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    1. It really is tricky, maybe we'll get there together lol

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  5. I usually share all that I have learnt, maybe talk about what has worked for me. But I too feel that I am not qualified to give advice.

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    1. That's the difference, you've experienced much more than I have in this publishing world. And I enjoy reading your blog. :D

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  6. I'm just the same. I really don't feel qualified to give advice and also have the sense that I need to prove myself more.

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    1. There you go, you are officially one of my partners in crime. (Is it a crime not to give advice? o_0)

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  7. I have no problem telling anyone and everyone what to do. Take that sweater back to the store. It looks awful on you. It's all right, not alright.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. P.S. I think being authoritative is important in editing. Why should anyone listen to me if I'm not confident regarding what I know? Of course, I always remind writers that the author is the authority on the writing. I am merely The Queen of Grammar. I hope this comment doesn't have a typo.

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    2. lol Janie, you never fail to make me laugh!
      I must say though, as The Queen of Grammar, it's quite all right to say it like it is :D
      (Don't edit this comment. Please?)

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  8. Okay, I'm laughing at Janie's comment. Especially the "I hope this comment doesn't have a typo" line. Too funny!

    I don't feel qualified to offer advice, and I don't think I'd ever do a "How-To" segment on my blog or anything. It's just too much to worry about, I guess. But I will offer my opinion from time to time with the disclaimer that it's my opinion and my opinion only, and they are free to ignore it if they'd like.

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    1. I like the disclaimer idea. I fear I might have three "disclaimer paragraphs" and one line of advice. . . crap! Is that what I did up there?

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  9. I feel like that too. I can give general advice - Don't Give Up! Keep writing! - but nothing specific, usually, because I'm not sure if my own experience is enough . . . does that make sense?

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    1. Perfect sense! I'm right there with you ;)

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  10. haha! You know, I find that handing out advice is only good in two situations.

    1. When you're having a personal conversation with someone and they have a problem. If you've dealt with a similar situation and, then it doesn't hurt to share experience.

    2. If you've been through something recently that you really feel like other writers should know. But only if it speaks to you in a way that not sharing it would seem cruel.

    You're not being selfish, you're just trying to be sincere, which I think is way better than writers who just dole out advice :)

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    1. This is so true!
      And thanks, I feel better :D

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  11. I look at it this way. I offer advice and it is up to the person what they do with it. Blindly following anything will always result in trouble at some point. It is up to us to take what we learn and apply what works and disregard what doesn't, for us. I say advise away :P.

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    1. Here's an advice: stop disappearing! Maybe that's a command? Umm, let me try that again: take your time with blogging and maybe you won't burn yourself out again. There I think that works. *shrugs*

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    2. Lol. Hmm, maybe you are right about not giving advice. I kid I kid. It is good to be back.

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  12. With advice, I like hearing it when it's based on the experiences of the people involved, because that way I can get as many different angles as possible on the issues.

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    1. Agreed! That's why I wouldn't try to offer any unless I've experienced it. (A few times, just to be sure) Thanks for stopping by ;)

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  13. Yikes, Katherine, I never thought of giving advice exactly the way you explained. it. I never give it because I think I'm an expert. It's always just my opinion and people can accept it or not.They always have a choice. D

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  14. To me, the best advice is not exactly "advice", but more a conversation sharing what you've experienced and what you've learned from it. So your point about experiencing something first (a few times) makes complete sense!

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