Sunday, March 27, 2016

#3 Rejecting standard blog advice

I don't do things the normal way.

Tell me "how it's done" and I'll be the first to protest that it's counter-intuitive and I can think of a better way, so I'm off to experiment kthanksbye.

Sometimes it works out for me and life is awesome. Most of the time, though, I end up falling flat on my face a dozen times or so before I'll admit that the standard way is better and grudgingly try it.

I'm approaching my goal to write for a living the same way.

And even though I'm aware of this tendency, I still don't want to change it.

I'm still listening when my gut screams "NO!" at standard advice and embarking instead on my own version of doing things.

Maybe that means I'll fall down more than the average writer, but I don't think that means I'll fail.

Rather, I think it means that when I succeed, my success will be uniquely mine and crafted in a way that feels natural to maintain.

Don't get me wrong, I still appreciate all the advice out there and am learning a TON of great things. There's a lot of info that I soak in like a sponge and am ready to follow it to the letter.

But, for example, "write in the 'you' voice as much as possible"? Like HELL I will! I'm not an expert yet, and won't be for a while. Simplistic how-to articles drive me nuts.

On the other hand, brutal honesty documenting my journey through life is a hallmark that has touched nearly every piece of my writing for over a decade. I like to write in a manner that emphasizes just how human I am, how fragile I can be emotionally, how sometimes I feel like a total klutz, the mistakes I make and in this case even knowingly plow forward in what others advise is the "wrong" direction.

And what I've found in the past is I cultivate an audience that can relate. That feel relieved to read my posts, because diving into the painful depths of just how human I am--yet somehow still okay--reassures them on a gut level that they're okay too.

When I make mistakes, it won't be "You should avoid this, here's my experience, learn from it." It'll just be "This was my experience and by golly that was a doozey. I won't be doing that again!"

I rely on my audience to be smart enough to put the pieces together that maybe they might want to avoid doing that thing, too. Or at least consider themselves warned.

Someone* once said, "If you're smart, you'll learn from your mistakes. If you're wise, you'll learn from the mistakes of others."

It's a good quote. In theory, I totally agree with it.

In practice? I'm more like Frankie Ballard singing "How am I ever gonna get to be old and wise if I ain't ever young and crazy?"

Young and crazy signing off!

*Original author unknown, so many claim credit for this quote in its various forms I cannot distinguish appropriate attribution.

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