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.
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.
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?