February 14


The Best Writing Advice I Received

By Odyssa

February 14, 2023

If your plan this year is to write more, to start a blog or a journal, this is for you. 

2019 was the year I decided to take writing seriously. It was also the year that I posted my worst work. I cringe when I look back. 

But I am still writing because nobody cares. These two words changed how I ran this blog and submitted to publications. 

Tiny Post, Cau Giay, Hanoi.

You must be into writing because it's a form of expression and understanding.

You use writing as a tool to have a better grasp of your world.

You write to dump all the weight you bear and turn them into compelling stories with the hope that it serves at least one person other than you. I am the same.  

Writing space in my tiny studio in Da Nang

Writing space in my tiny studio in Da Nang

Nobody cares.

Of course there are limits. Written work that's demoralizing, dehumanizing is something that I hope I have never posted and never plan on doing. 

You will get rejected. If writing is for the long-term, the time will come when get mean comments online that may dampen your spirits. It might even turn you off from writing entirely. Worse, no one bothers to read what you worked so hard on. 

But who cares? Only you do.

You care when your eyes are set tightly on a future that isn't even there yet. Because you think you can't produce good enough work, the future will bring havoc into the world. We're doomed.  

Because you have intimate knowledge of the time you put into your craft and the energy you pour into the work is immeasurable, you care. Taking things personally is a natural response. 

It's hard to admit but you probably want to get something in return - a magical exchange between you and a reader. 

This was my writing space in Hoi An. I was here for Tet Holiday. There was one day when there was nothing but rain so I stayed in. I liked that!

Did you know that when one person says your work is awful, she will most likely forget about it next day? Do comments like these really matter and shape your thoughts about writing?

THE question

What would people say about me?  We fear too many things: judgment, rejections, smirks, dislikes, whispers. 

Show your work with quiet confidence. 

Then, do it again. Learn from the brilliant writers of yesterday and now. Never stop seeking. Writing, should you choose to, is a journey to be taken for the rest of your life.

Much of what you hear is noise. Learn to separate the unnecessary from what's vital - feedback from peers, mentors, and editors. 

In my short e-book, The Writer's Dilemma, I shared:

I'm planning to stay close to writing for as long as I’m alive. I’ve found no better way to discover myself, my world, and my connection to everything else than doing this. Through it, life becomes a piece of art I can look at and hold.

You can download it here for free

Nobody cares. Start writing that draft today. 

Read my case about why you shouldn't date a writer, the latest on my writing life, and how I spend my mornings lately


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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