How to ignore bad advice

Being a person in the world opens you up to a truly terrible interaction with other humans: unsolicited advice. For some reason, everybody loves to impart their wisdom on others - whether desired or not.

Because of this, everyone gets bad advice.

Just like art is subjective, so too are the tips people give about creating and marketing it. Many writers are told to “write what they know,” but for anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games you know that would be a travesty. (Because: that was not real. Sorry, readers.) Why would you limit yourself to rehashing your experience instead of embracing your imagination?

Bad advice can alter your outlook on your work or future career, and can include anything from “trust no one” to “network with everyone.” It’s contradictory at best and nonsense at worst (“wait for inspiration”). When you are a vulnerable and insecure artist, like nearly all of us are, it is difficult to go without seeking mentorship and understanding from those who have tread the path before us.

Think about how advice makes you feel, whether it feels like an epiphany or an attack and whether or not you feel freed by it. If it makes you feel trapped or less than, it’s probably not good advice for you. You are really the only one you need to impress, and eventually your audience will find you and be delighted by the passion you have for your own work.

What is some of the worst advice you’ve gotten about your art and art career?