I've written alot of crap. Really bad crap at that. Melodramatic, whiny, self-indulgent words. Crap filled with abused adverbs, boring adjectives, useless iteration, and just plain weak verbs.
I've also read alot of crap. Contest submissions, critique partner's work, and student drivel (of course I'm referring to anyone's work who isn't reading this post).
I've heard alot of advice. Advice from brilliant people like my editor at Kensington, Peter Senftleben and PPW contest judge Bill May to ego driven critiques from fellow writers to novice writers filled with writerly RULES.
I've given alot of advice. Not all of it good. In fact, most of it probably didn't help my fellow writers. Not because it was bad advice, even though it could've been. More often than not, it probably didn't fit the writer's or story's style.
So here's my point, all this advice and all these crap words are the reason I'm a better writer than I was a year ago, and why I'll be even better next year. Bad advice means that you are putting yourself out there. You're getting people to read your work and that you are willing to learn and grow as a writer. So I'll take all the advice I can get. Tell me to use Em Dashs, to cut adverbs, to be more descriptive and less campy. I want it all.
What do you think about bad advice? And how do you decide what is good and what is bad advice for your work?