Just Shove Your Advice, So What If I Need It

When I was pregnant 12 years ago, I gobbled up every parenting magazine I got my hands on. I talked nonstop about being a parent, questioning everyone with children, trying to steal their knowledge.
I was going to rock this gig.
hell yeah.

With my second pregnancy, five years later, I couldn't stand the sight of those magazines and if anyone even thought about giving me advice, they were told politely where to shove their knowledge.
I was going to do things my way.

Now my youngest is six and I'm not comfortable offering my knowledge yet, but when asked, I will offer my two cents. Why not? My experiences might help someone out of a jam, but I know at the end of the day, every parent, every child, will blossom in a unique way, regardless of what I say.

Writing is a bit like this, no?
At first we come into the game looking for rules, experts, and learning. We want to rock this gig.
hell yeah! 

Then what happens?
We realize that for every idiot who tells us to put a comma before the "and" in a sequence, another will tell us not to bother. Advice is conflicting. Reading what sells is down right confusing. What do readers want!?!
One agent can't stand the sight of our work yet another is all in love with it. 
And so we grow to that point where we can't take the rules and advice. We try things our way and see what happens.

Years later, we share our experiences without expectations.
Some of us will reach that expert stage, but even then, some other idiot will give the opposite advice forcing everyone to grow on their own anyway.

So, where are you in life? Do you gobble up advice, tell them to shove it, or are you dishing it out?  


Trisha said...

Well, I'm the sort of person who I don't think I'll be gobbling up prego magazines if I ever am pregnant. I think I'll just be seeing my doctor and otherwise going with the flow ;) It's how my mum did it, and I turned out great! lol

cherie said...

So true, Tanya. If we take every advice we hear, it will drive us bonkers. I like discussions more than advices. I also like it when someone disagrees with me and tells me where or why I'm wrong. Then I have a chance to process it and fk my own research. Getting and giving crits especially, is hard. During an intense crit marathon last summer, I tell ya I got conflicting feedback. Sometimes it's best to just stick to what your gut tells you. Sometimes you really have to sort through each advice, criticism, comment and see which ones work for you.


E. Arroyo said...

Yup, that's putting things in perspective. I'm still gobbling advice while dishing some out in return.

Tanya Reimer said...

Love the attitude Trisha! I wish I could just go with, but I HAVE to know EVERYTHING about a subjet. I'm nuts like that. hehe

Yeah Cherie, we get to a point where sharing is important. It's not really advice, just discussions, and we pull from them what we can. I like that too. It's fun.

E. Arroyo,it's weird how when we look at it like this we can do all three things once we've "matured"! Hehe. (Is that what we are?) I still research until my brain explodes, and double check. I still want to do things my way, and yet, I want to share what I learn and what others learnt. Bizarre, because at one time, it was just one or the other.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hi! Haven't been here in a while. Just got back from a trip.

I'm okay with receiving advice - I'm just careful about where I get it from. But I'm even MORE careful about dishing it out. :-)

Tanya Reimer said...

Hi Tanya,

Again, I couldn't add my comment to your post. I couldn't even add a comment to my own post on my own blog yesterday.

I like getting advice. Members of my reading groups are almost always right in their comments. I've changed scenes, lines, words, so many times I thank my critique partners for making my books better than I could make them alone.

Good post,

Vicki Tremper said...

What a great analogy! You're brilliant, ya know. I'm not quite to the point of telling others to shove it, but I'm less open to certain types of advice than I used to be. And I've always been willing to freely share advice - I guess that's just my personality. Hell yeah.

Tanya Reimer said...

You've all given me so much to think about. Thanks guys.

Oh Samantha that is such good advice. It's important to watch who's giving the advice and who we're giving it to. I will be weary.

Richard, it sounds like you have some rock solid Crit partners. It's great when they see those things we can't. That's advice I willingly take too. Bring it on, and can I borrow a few?

LOL Vicki. Hell yeah! Funny gal! hehehe. You're right though, we grow up and need different types of advice. Plus what we share changes. hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Advice is a tricky thing. Not just in writing but in all aspects of life, I'm learning, after a long life, to give very little advice unless the person asks for it; and even then I'm cautious.

I'm trying to put together a post about Richard Hughes whom you interviewed on May 18th. I'm posting my review of his 3 stories on my new WordPress blog. I'm hoping to drive a select handful of my "real" followers over there. If I'm still on your list for an interview--I know how busy you are--just let me know through my email and/or also drop by my new blog. I'll be advertising on my blogspot blog, which I'm keeping at low maintenance level, when I post on WP.
Ann Best, Memoir Writer

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I don't really give out a lot of advice. I do sometimes if it has helped me with something and if someone asks, but mostly I keep it to myself. I'm always afraid someone will take what I say and then something will happen to screw their writing up or something. Call me paranoid. I don't care. ;)

E.C. Smith said...

I'm not much of a rule follower, but hey. . .I'll listen to anyone dish. I might learn something cool and be able to fold it into my process. Evolution is key, I think. Learning new things, listening to new ideas and adapting them to fit you is always works better than doing things someone else's way.

Mary Mary said...

I do some of the dishing over at the Sisterhood, but I try to make it so that it doesn't come across like I'm talking to a five-year-old. Writers have to be smart if they want to write. Right? So why treat them like imbeciles? Of course, I also have my "shove it" moments. Who doesn't?

Tanya Reimer said...

Advice IS tricky isn't it, Ann? Even when people ask for it, I find they aren't always listening. We do like to learn the hard way. Oh? And yes can't wait to read your book!! YAY!! Everyone stay tuned I WILL be peeking into Ann's life. I a month or so.

LOL Chantele! I've never thought about that!

E.C. that's how I see it too. We take in as much as we can and make it our own. Great attitude.

Mary Mary love the comment and went to check out your Sisterhood. Fun place, with smart discussions! Love it.