Monday 26 February 2024

Knowing What Advice To Give - The Creative Process


I've been doing these Monday posts for about seven years now, and I have to admit that sometimes the ones that I agonise over don't do anywhere near as well as the ones that I spend not all that much time on. Given that I also have an Authotube channel (found here) I really don't want to get to a point where there's crossover. I don't want to be giving the same advice twice, just worded differently. While there are some nuggets, taking breaks when you need them, and the like, that do seem to apply in a variety of different ways, there are others which are already talked about, written about, to death and I don't want to just be adding to the noise.

That said, there are some times when I just don't know how to approach the topic I've chosen and find myself doing a lot of staring at the screen and trying to think, and this topic seems to be one of those. Hopefully I can find the words to put across what I'm trying to say and it's one of the ones that actually does well regardless.

Because the thing is, there is a lot of writing advice out there. There will be authors and writers talking about a lot of the same stuff, and sometimes going deeper into it, but it feels very reparative. When I first started doing these advice pieces regularly, because I actually started doing them sporadically about eleven years ago, I would stick to the same pieces of advice. The rules of writing, how to plan, how to set a schedule and so on and so forth. Now there's nothing wrong with putting your own spin on things, but I, as a writer and author, had other things that I was searching for.

Like being an indie author, I wanted to focus less on the rules of writing, and move into the how to of publishing. Oh there were blogs and videos for that too, but a lot of the time they focused on their own process and acted like that was the only one out there, and I didn't write like they did. I didn't plan like they did and I didn't publish like they did, so it felt like there was a bit of a gap there. It was around then that I decided to launch myself into Authortube, and again I stuck to the same topics as everyone else did, and then after a year I realised I had my own thoughts on the process, my own ways of doing things that might help other writers and authors like me.

So how do you know what advice to give? How do you know if you have anything to add that hasn't already been said/done/talked about before? I'm gonna give you some tips on knowing just what you, personally, can add to the conversation should you wish to do so.


I think a lot of the issues that come up are because people feel compelled to add their two cents and it's not always a topic they either know well, or have actual experience with. Like I know that disability videos on my channel do well because I'm talking from a place of lived experience. I'm talking about things I either know about my own life, or I have knowledge about. Applying that to writing, like talking about tropes in a certain genre you either read a whole ton of, or write yourself, that's something where you can shine. I'm not saying don't branch out and learn new things, but try to make it clear that this is a new thing for you, because presenting it as something you're an expert on can be shady, and people do not like shady.


There is nothing wrong with admitting you're either wrong, or just don't know something. If you've done research to discuss this matter, then make sure you let people know where you got it from. This gives a lot of your readers confidence in what you're saying. It allows them to see that you've put in that effort when it comes to your advice. That you've not just sat at the keyboard and banged out whatever came to mind. Again, it goes back to not being shady, people hate that.


Everyone learns new things all the time. There's nothing wrong with either changing your mind about something, or updating the advice piece because you've spent some time learning and growing. I know some Authortubers will delete an older video because the advice has changed, you can do that. I'll revisit a topic every so often to make sure that I'm giving the up to date info as possible. It's really just about being transparent about your learning process, and people are always on board for that.

So keep those three things in mind, and go forth and give your advice. Some things will resonate with people, some might not, and that's okay. You want to get it out to the right people and sharing it far and wide will help with that. Good luck!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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