If you want to achieve creative success of any kind, in any field, you need to find your own path.If you want to achieve success, you need to find your own path. Click To Tweet
What’s prompted that (somewhat obvious) statement is that I’ve run across an overabundance of heavy-handed writing- and creative advice lately that boils down to: “The only way to succeed is to do this the same way I [the speaker] do it.”
That kind of advice is a terrible lie. More to the point, it’s a terribly dispiriting lie.Advice that turns you off writing is bad advice Click To Tweet
I don’t know about you, but I find that most of that my-way-or-the-highway advice is founded on all assumptions of all kinds of privilege that have absolutely nothing to do with the realities of my life. And those narrow, blinkered points of view also tend to ignore the many and varied ways that other people have and do go about the art and the business of writing and other creative pursuits.
As a culture, we celebrate a really narrow range of narratives about creative success–and in the process, we ignore/marginalize/erase all kinds of other stories about the fantastically diverse ways people define, pursue, and achieve success in writing and the arts. But if you go digging, you can find those stories and they can be inspiring and instructive.
I want to discuss bad writing advice and privileged writing advice in greater depth with you–we’ll be revisiting these topics. For now, just let me say this:The only path you need is the one that works for you Click To Tweet
Advice that turns you off your passions is bad advice: ignore it. Advice from people who have no understanding or awareness of your life may not apply to you. Just because people shout advice loudly or fit the model of what we hold up as experts in our culture doesn’t mean they have something helpful to offer you. Look for role models who are working with the same kind of challenges that you are–their advice has the highest likelihood of being relevant to you. There is never just one path. Realize that there are many different paths to writing and the only one you need is the one that works for you.