The Tyranny of Advice

Recently I’ve dipped my toe in the world of blogs about blogging and it’s led to some interesting thoughts about why, how and from whom I take writing advice. There’s an amazing amount of posts on what to blog about, how to write a post when you’re ‘blocked,’ why illustrations are necessary etc. etc. etc. Most of it is mind-numbing—either too obvious or directed at non-writers—and some of it is silly.

A good deal of the blogging advice is applicable to a limited audience. Is it an audience of one? Maybe a bit larger, but for every truly helpful bit of guidance, there are dozens of RULES that suit a limited number of bloggers.

So what’s a writer to do?

Come up with her own advice for other bloggers.

As I’ve been asked about this twice in the last week, blogging as a process has been on my mind. So here goes. This is my contribution to the body of blogging how-to knowledge…

One: determine focus or subject matter and come up with topic ideas

Two: create a voice, point-of-view or style

Three: keep your posts relatively short

Four: decide how often you will post, be realistic about it

Five: write a few extras now and again so you have bank of posts

Six: read your posts out loud before you hit ‘publish’

Seven: don’t worry about doing it right, just do it

Eight: This is the most important rule.


Your process is YOUR process. If you need a quiet room and a specific time of day, do it that way. I don’t. If you need to check facts & spelling with an Internet connection in order to get the post written, do it that way. I don’t. If you need to take a break in the middle of a draft, do it. I don’t.

I’ve discovered that I like writing blog posts. I enjoy the pressure to produce them—both for my own blogs and for freelance clients. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss “I can write them on a plane. I can write them on a train.” I’m happy to fix up, fill-in and smooth out a post back at my desk if I happen to scribbling the gist of it in a notebook at the gym or drafting it on my laptop at an internet-free coffee bar.

My process works for me. Figure out what works for you! Incorporate One to Seven or ignore them if they don’t appeal to you. But try eight—really—try number eight and you may find yourself writing advice to other bloggers, too.

My writing buddy.

My writing buddy.


  1. 9. Enjoy your bloody self or you won’t keep it up! -giggles-

    I think I’ve read and broken every blogging rule around except for your 8. and my 9.

    Maybe we should include a 10. Always write with a cat companion – they keep you sane!

    • Candy Korman

      Love your cat idea. I think we should start a meme.
      ‘Don’t blog without a cat.’

      Absolutely, if you are not having fun you will stop doing it. Over and over again, I’ve told people to set the bar low or they’ll go nuts. Writers are different (writing is natural for writers) but starting without the writing discipline it becomes very, very hard to keep up the pace.

  2. Sweet and short but excellent advice.If I followed the advice I see in a lot of ‘helpful’ blogs I’d be changing the way I write every day. No two ever seem to be consistent and they can’t all be right. Or can they? Well yes, I suppose they can but usually only in reference to the blogger who wrote them.
    I’ve been blogging a while and though I don’t think my blog is a great example, it’s mine. One piece of advice I received which was relevant to me was to make my paragraphs shorter.I did that straight away but since I haven’t received complaints and since people aren’t voting by walking I have to hope that my formula is at least acceptable even if only to me.
    The only advice I’d offer doesn’t take a blog post to pass on. Be yourself and enjoy what you do…….unless you happen to be one of those reviewers who never scores higher than 1.

    xxx Huge Hugs Candy xxx