The Agent Game

A viewpoint on publishing

Advice overload

with one comment

Agent Jennifer Jackson once wrote about how to decide which advice to listen to:

There is a simply dizzying amount of advice. I know. I’ve contributed to it. Most of that advice is going to be from people who are genuinely trying to be helpful. Here’s what you need to remember, though. While respecting these people for sharing and giving of their knowledge and experience, be aware that every person is only one reader and/or one writer. Some of them are more experienced than others (particularly agents and editors, one hopes) and may have a broader foundation upon which to base their suggestions. But you have to remember they are only that. Listen for what resonates, and take what works for you — throw the rest away. Temper this with as much common sense and courtesy as possible and be ready to not always take the path of least resistance. And that’s my #1 best piece of advice. In the end, the first writer/reader/critic to listen to is yourself.

I agree completely. Its hardly rare to see a writer who has tied themselves in knots trying to follow the varying advice given by editors, agents and other writers, and then there’s the challenge of weeding out the sometimes truly harmful advice that’s on offer. Like most of the worthwhile sources out there who are honestly trying to be helpful, I’m not going to suggest that everything I say on this blog holds true for every writer. Instead I’ll recommend that you take the time to learn from a variety of quality sources, take everything you read or hear with a grain of salt, and remember that most of what you find will be subjective. Most importantly though, listen to yourself.

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Written by incognito

9 July 2008 at 6:12 pm

Posted in Elsewhere

One Response

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  1. Which is something that is acquired over a period of time of course. *G* Assurance in one’s writing must overcome many obstacles, barring the information overload given by those “in the know”.

    Camilla

    1 April 2006 at 3:55 pm


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