Advice on (Writing) Advice

Why you don’t have to follow advice . . . even this advice.

Eileen Wiedbrauk
7 min readApr 20, 2019

There was an interesting moment among speculative fiction writers on Twitter that I periodically revisit. Occasionally, I use it to remind myself. More often, I narrate it to people who ask for advice and then struggle with what they receive.

It starts with advice on writing advice, but it works its way around to advice on advice generally. If you stick with me, I’ll get you there. Really.

I first noticed the discussion with something an Odfellow had retweeted from Ann Leckie. Leckie’s tweets culminated most spectacularly with some NSFW language:

But I encourage you to read from the beginning if you have the time.

I saw it and immediately retweeted it.

I read it aloud to unsuspecting writing-minded acquaintances.

A few days later, I saw this long-form thread from Chuck Wendig:



Eileen Wiedbrauk

Writer. Geek. Coffee addict. Former editor. MFA grad. Odyssey Workshop alum. Library fangirl. Escaped cubicle minion. Home cook. On a mission for better health.