Top 9 Worst Writing Tips Ever: A Humorous Breakdown

Photo of author


Ah, the world of writing advice—endlessly vast, wildly diverse, and, let’s face it, occasionally bewildering. Over the years, I’ve encountered tips that range from genuinely insightful to amusingly absurd. Today, let’s dive into the latter category with a light-hearted critique of the top nine worst writing tips ever shared. Grab a cup of your favorite tea, and let’s enjoy a chuckle together!

1. “Write Only When Inspired”

Waiting for the muse to visit is a romantic notion, isn’t it? However, if we all waited for inspiration to strike, the world would be bereft of many literary masterpieces. Writing, dear readers, is a discipline, and sometimes you simply must sit down and start, whether the muse is on vacation or not.

2. “Stick to What You Know”

While there’s merit in drawing on personal knowledge, adhering strictly to this advice stifles creativity. Imagine if J.K. Rowling had disregarded her magical ideas because she had never personally attended a wizarding school. Venturing beyond what you know is often where the most creative magic happens.

3. “Avoid Reading While Writing”

This tip suggests that reading might influence or dilute your unique voice. I find the opposite to be true! Reading widely can inspire and refine your voice, not to mention teach you a thing or two about effective writing. To ignore the wealth of literature out there is to rob oneself of a treasure trove of inspiration.

4. “The Thesaurus is Your Best Friend”

Ah, thesauruses—valuable tools, but treacherous waters! Relying too heavily on a thesaurus can lead to a piece littered with out-of-context synonyms that do more to confuse than clarify. It’s often best to use the first word that comes to mind if it fits well; simplicity is the soul of wit, after all.

5. “More Adjectives and Adverbs Mean More Detail”

This tip could easily lead to writing that feels overwrought and cluttered. Strong nouns and verbs typically paint a clearer picture and keep the prose crisp and vivid. As Strunk and White famously advised, “Omit needless words!”

6. “Tell, Don’t Show”

Flipping the age-old adage of “show, don’t tell” on its head might seem innovative, but it usually results in dry, expository writing that leaves little to the imagination. We read not just for information, but for experience. Showing rather than telling allows your readers to see, feel, and discover the world you’ve created.

7. “Write Like You Talk”

While conversational writing has its place, especially in more casual contexts, it’s not universally applicable. Transcribing speech directly can lead to a text that’s meandering and riddled with filler. Writing, even when conversational, benefits from a bit more structure and polish than our everyday speech.

8. “The First Draft is Just a Throwaway”

While it’s true that the first draft is rarely perfect, thinking of it as merely a throwaway can be demoralizing. Every draft is a step closer to your final piece, a necessary part of the creative process where you explore your ideas and themes. Respect your first drafts—they’re your story’s foundation.

9. “Ignore All Feedback”

This tip champions a rugged individualism that, while appealing, can hinder growth. Feedback is crucial, as it provides new perspectives on your work that you might be too close to see. While not all criticism is created equal, a discerning writer knows the value of constructive feedback and uses it wisely.

In writing, as in all forms of art, balance is key. While it’s essential to listen to advice, it’s equally important to weigh it against your judgment and creative goals. Remember, dear readers, that breaking the ‘rules’ thoughtfully is often where your unique voice and style shine brightest. Here’s to embracing the good advice—and laughing off the bad! Happy writing!