What I’m listening to: Get Out by Frightened Rabbit
This re-entry into work is getting ridiculous.
I’ve had a relatively slow week so far, and I’m thankful for it. My clock won’t reset — I’m still five hours ahead, which means I’m barely awake at 8 pm and wide awake at 3 am. I plan to force myself to stay up later each night just to see if that helps.
I finished one project yesterday and researched some on another. The latter is taking a bit more digging than I had hoped, but I have some ideas that could speed things up.
I took ten minutes and traveled around the blogs yesterday. It didn’t take much reading of LinkedIn forums to realize something.
People are well-positioned to screw up their freelance writing careers.
It’s not that writers are necessarily striving to be bad at what they do. But man, there sure is enough lousy advice out there to help them do just that. Want to screw up your freelance writing career? Then do this:
Follow lousy advice verbatim.
Ah, but how do I know it’s lousy, you ask? It’s a good question. Here are a few ways to tell if the person giving you advice knows their stuff or is full of, well, stuff:
Generalizing. It’s a dead giveaway when an “expert” lumps you in with all other writers or worse, with his or her own personal experience. You’re not all other writers, and you’re definitely not that person. Not all writers will respond to the same set of criteria, stimuli, or schedules.
Dishing out absolutes. To me, nothing screams “I’m making this up on the spot” like a “must”, “always” or “never” statement. If you should always always do it, chances are your expert is a windbag know-it-all. In ridiculously few cases will such absolutes apply (as in you should always market — but notice the “should” in front of that — marketing is up to you, not your guru).
Dangling the carrot. This one just pisses me off. That guru will pal around with you, spoon feed you a few drops of info, then toss in the casual “It’s all covered in my e-book/e-course” or just blatantly comment with links to their crap.
Knowing everything about everything. Jeezuz, how do these people fit their egos inside their skin? In one case, I saw a comment from some guru that gave the worst possible advice — the wrong advice. It was an area the guru clearly knew nothing about — insurance. Unfortunately for that “expert”, I did. I had to counter every bit of it, and I didn’t enjoy it (I don’t like publicly disagreeing with someone I don’t know). Still, I couldn’t let people go off and buy the wrong insurance based on some idiot’s ramblings. If the person giving advice is often giving advice on nearly every topic, there’s your red flag.
Complimenting you endlessly. Come on, no one is that cheerful. The false praise, the buddy-buddy banter, the “free” advice that falls just short of what they offer in their e-book or e-course… you’re being used. That new bestie of yours is setting up your dependence on his/her help… and product offerings.
Writers, what types of bad advice have you encountered?
What advice do you have for writers who are attempting to vet advice?