Any time I have read a “How To” article, I have not sought it out with a sense of confidence in my ability. I have searched for help because I felt lost, ignorant or incapable in some way. When it comes to “How To” articles about writing, this is particularly scary. Bonnie Grove at NovelMatters gets right to the heart of this problem:
The volume of advice is more avalanche than rushing river. Micro info dumping about the industry of publishing (which is either doing just fine, or is a dinosaur long extinct it just doesn’t know it yet, depending who you read) sends writers into a panic.Why panic?Because the underlining message of all these articles, blogs, websites, books, and essays is this: Writer, you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re getting this all wrong.
Grove insists that reading these lists can do more harm than good. We are writers, and having the confidence to put your ideas, creativity, feeling and heart on the page is the most important asset we have. Hers is a lesson I am going to try to carry with me this year as I work to become a more productive writer.