I’ve been seeing some scuttlebutt scuttling ’bout the interwebz (which of course – besides porn – is what it’s for) about how access to advice from successful authors leads to a toxic environment. By this the posters mean that finding out when X gets up or how many words Y writes each day can lead to another writer feeling despondent at their failures to meet some sort of similar standard. The (semi)inevitable conclusion seems to be “don’t listen to them, you do you.”
Which isn’t bad advice at all. At least the second part, isn’t. The first part though… Well, I’m not going to say anyone has to learn from more established authors. I did. Lots do. No, you don’t *have* to. I tend to think, however, that doubt and self-recriminations come from within and have nothing to do with what other people are doing.
All of that said, I want to go on record about my position on this. Because I often teach about my process or give advice on how I do things.
My first advice is always, always, always: Own Your Own Process.
Which is a variant of “you do you,” to be sure.
Now, I tend to believe that discovering our own process comes from a combination of doing the thing a whole bunch AND trying out what’s worked for other people. (And if hearing what’s worked for other people sends you into paroxysms of self-doubt and despair, then yeah, maybe don’t do that.)
Still and all, while I’m happy to teach and share, that really is key. Find out what YOUR process is and own it. That puts all the rest into perspective. I promise.