I got the pleasure of meeting Rachel Rittenhouse at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference. Because she was a teen author, I asked her to be a guest on my blog. We decided to to a blog swap. My post will be on Rachel's blog. She is a wonderful young woman, and I enjoyed getting to know her a bit. Anyway, here are her words about sorting through helpful writing advice.
This past July, I attended my first writer’s conference. It was something big and monumental—and not at all what I thought it would be like. Then again, I’m not sure what I was expecting. I had heard that writer conferences are a must for writers who are serious about their craft and that is something I do believe is true. I have learned so much about writing in those three days then I believe I have so far!
One thing I did notice was all the different opinions of writers, agents, and editors. I met with five different people and every person had something different to say, or either, said it in their own way. It all makes sense though, why this should be. No journey is the same. Every writer must figure out their own way of doing something and so must we.
Here are some helpful tips that I have come to realize when sorting out different advice.
1. Listen with an open mind – Don’t dismiss someone’s advice just because it is not the same as what you have been hearing from other people. Who knows? Perhaps this person’s advice is actually what you have been looking for.
2. Don’t charge headlong in one direction without first looking at all the possible ways – This one is hard, because when someone tells you something positive, all you want to do is jump up and down and start figuring out how their advice can become a reality to you. But then, when you talk with another person, their advice, though different from the first persons, causes the same excitement. Of course you will be excited when you receive affirmation, but the important thing to do is to remain calm, cool, and collected!
3. Keep talking to people – Don’t just talk to one person and say “I love their advice and I’m doing exactly what they say!” No. Keep talking. Find out what all your options are. See what works best for you. The first road might not be the best one, or maybe the first and second road connect somewhere. You don’t know unless you find out all the information.
4. Pray – Read through your bible and try to sort through what God wants you to do. God’s ways are better than we could ever imagine. He knows exactly what you should do and he will help you do just that!
5. Pick Something and Go Forward – After you have thought of every possible situation and prayed and talked about it, don’t just wait around. You need to pick which way you’re going to go and just go for it. Don’t just stand around doing nothing. That will get you nowhere. You need to trust that you made the choice that is best for you and follow through with it.
These five tips don’t have to be just when you are writing and publishing a book, but pretty much for any big decision you have to make in life! Recently, I just decided on what major I was going to pursue and where I was going to go for college and these are the same five tips I used.
Decisions are hard, especially when it seems like there is no set way to go. But it is possible to figure out which way to go, especially when you can feel it is right inside.