When you need a break with a little conflict to wake you up, Writing Twitter nearly always delivers. There’s gonna be a writing fight going on somewhere, sometime; this is just a given for our time.
HARSH WRITING ADVICE is the one trending this morning, and I’ve got to say, it’s a juicy topic!
According to Tessa Dare’s screenshot, the inception tweet went like this:
“HARSH WRITING ADVICE: Your writer friends are also your competition. Sorry.”
This was one bad take (apparently deleted by the original writer https://twitter.com/RebeccaRennerFL/status/1355246427337859079?s=20) that provoked a lot of thought. The community came up with bad advice, good advice, a lot of humor, and several celebrations of why writing friends are so important.
Tweeter @gr8writingtips said, “if you eat your writer friends you gain their ability” (18K likes at the time of this writing. Funny, but terrible advice. Writers are full of transfats and caffeine. Not healthy eating at all.)
Shiv Ramdas, a great thread storyteller, warns that making it competitive can backfire. (Thread of 11 tweets; totally worth it.)
Alix E. Harrow, on the other hand, remembers a time she cooperated with Erin Morgenstern on an event with books with nearly identical concepts. Sounds like it was a fun time, and a real win for readers – they got TWO books instead of one.
This brings us back to Tessa Dare’s question: “Do you, on your own, publish enough books a year that your ideal reader will never need a book from anyone else?” It’s a very unfair thing about the writing business; that book that took the author a year to write will be consumed in six to eight hours. Readers always need more, and it makes a lot of sense to cooperate with other writers in your genre to offer readers a choice and a chance to read more.
Amber Sparks notes, “As a writer, you’re not competing with other writers any more than people playing slot machines at Caesar’s are competing against other people playing slot machines.”
Fred G. Yost (@waidr) made a cute acrostic that sounds like great advice for everyone.
Read outside your genre
Save your work often and back up off site
Of course, most of the best writing advice comes down to this, by Bim Adewunmi: “. . . it seems you have to write it? *checks notes* yeah, you have to actually write it wow”
And to sum up, advice from Elizabeth Bear: “HARSH WRITING AdvICe: I don’t know who needs to hear this but you have to get the fuck off Twitter and actually finish your book.
“Oh wait, it’s me.
“I need to hear this.”
And with that, I’m getting off the internet and going to write. Probably with Elizabeth’s writing sprint from yesterday. Have a good weekend, folks, and enjoy your writing advice with a grain of salt!