From the Video Archives: Lee Child’s Writing Advice to Writers Is to Ignore All Advice

Scott William Carter   January 3, 2014  

“The best advice for a budding writer is to ignore all advice.”

Child has a lot of words of wisdom (I won’t call it advice or you might ignore it) packed in that short two minutes, but that was the line  I agree with the most. I’ve certainly handed out my share of writing advice, but really, none of it amounts to much. You put one word in front of the other, and if you keep at it, and trust our own vision and your own voice, in the end you might have something good. And if not, it’s at least yours.

And while I’m a big believer in constantly trying to get better as a writer, I also think there are times when it’s best to stop taking writing workshops and stop reading how-to books and stop hanging out on writing-related forums and just do the work.  This isn’t to say you never take another writing workshop again; it’s just to say that there are periods along the way when it’s best to get all the other voices out of your head and just follow your own path.