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Does one size fit all for writers?

by | Jun 16, 2010 | Tips For Writers

There are so many different kinds of writing and so many ways to work that the only rule is this: do what works. Almost everything has been tried and found to succeed for somebody. The methods, even the ideas, of successful writers contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence—an overwhelming determination to succeed. – SOPHY BURNHAM

I saw this quote and loved it so much, I decided to do a whole blog post around it because it sums up perfectly the mission of my blog.

I understand that there are general rules for most things and while we follow those rules I don’t subscribe to the one size fits all approach.

Call me a rebel. LOL.

*shrugs* 😉

The main reason is because we are all unique individuals. What may work for me may not work for you.

This first became abundantly clear to me in my twenties. My LIFE in many ways has been non-traditional. I didn’t do things by the book or by what people consider societal norms. I did what felt right for me and while everything wasn’t peaches and cream – it worked.

When I was younger, people were always giving me advice, based on their life, statistics, experiences of their friends, family members or hearsay. While I don’t exactly turn a deaf ear and I do appreciate hearing other people’s experiences, I listen and apply what’s useful for me and discard the rest because at the end of the day you have to do what works for you.

Like the rapper Rocko says, “Imma do me.”

This approach has carried into my writing and how I give advice to aspiring writers.

I always tell new writers my experience, advise them of what I did, and I follow it up with, “Follow your gut. Do what works for you!”

When I first embarked on this writing journey, there were articles I read that said that self-published authors aren’t able to do x, y, and z. You take your pick and there was an article saying it was impossible to do. Now had I listened to that, I wouldn’t have garnered the publicity that I have, the book signings that I’ve done, the celebrity who wrote the foreword for Pull Your Pants Up, etc. I did what worked for me and what I felt in my gut would work. And even if it didn’t work (because everything hasn’t worked) I found out by my own trial and error and not entirely based on other’s experiences.

Even to this day, I read articles and blog posts for writers. I use what is beneficial to me and everything else I discard. And I would suspect that others do the same when reading my blog. Like the quote says, almost everything has been tried and succeeded for somebody, but don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work or don’t let it stop you from trying something because one size doesn’t always fit all.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is do what works for you! You are only limited by what you THINK you CAN’T accomplish! My journey is not your journey, and {insert your favorite author}’s journey is not your journey.

While you can draw from other’s experiences, it may just be in your best interest to try something different. Just think of all of things we wouldn’t have if people followed other people’s blueprints (i.e., airplanes, Internet, computers, etc.)

Do you think outside the box? If you read articles that say most self-published authors don’t x, y, and z, do you stop trying? Please share in the comment section below.