Human beings, we advise you to rejoice! Touch thy head, extend gratitude to thy brain, for by reading this you are flexing your consciousness!
Okay, that’s a silly way to talk. Sorry. Something came over us. Let’s try a different approach instead. But, before doing so, we'll attach the following disclaimer: we in no way intend to portray ourselves as experts in the fields of brain science and/or human consciousness. We are merely writers and readers attempting to make sense of our experiences with subjectivity.
Onward we go!
On the most basic level, what we meant to say up there is that: hey, being human — being the sole owner and operator of a unique and complex and rational brain — is pretty rad. This consciousness is what allows us to make sense of our experiences, to investigate each action, interaction, consequence and nuance. This consciousness is what frees us to not only anticipate, but to reflect. It allows our stories to take shape. It allows us to extract meaning from our lives.
But what does this have to do with experienced writers giving young scribes advice? In short, everything.
Look, if you’re a writer looking to become a successful writer — however you define success for yourself — it's highly likely that you’ve scoured the Internet for advice, that you’ve heard from some person or some company you never really trusted that the best course of action is to, “just go with the flow,” and see it as an unacceptable way in which to live life when you’re hungry, that you can’t just go with the flow, and that you’d prefer to travel a formidable path chiseled out by the tens of thousands of writers that have come before you. Hey, we've sought out that path. Hundreds of times.
"Because the person giving you advice isn’t you, and because you aren’t the person giving you advice."
Perhaps you already know this, but the thing about advice is that 99% of the time it’s awful, and cannot be applied to your life or to your pursuits. Why? Because the person giving you advice isn’t you, and because you aren’t the person giving you advice. Consciousness of the human brain may be a beautiful thing, but it’s also an infuriating thing in scenarios such as this — all we have to pass along to eager ears is how we interpret our experiences. And the physical act of passing these interpretations along, verbally or textually, can easily nudge each party back into their respective echo chambers, where they’re left to mull and wrestle with their own experiences, uninterrupted until a snag is hit, the journey halted, and further advice sought.
Being conscious of just how shitty advice can be doesn’t make us not desperate to have the right person give the right snippets of guidance to us at the right time. Because we are. We’re desperate — we pursue happiness, after all, and stop only briefly once it's achieved, until our brains calibrate the next benchmark — and that’s what makes us hurt all the more when bad advice is given, received and followed.
But there will always always always be things that can be learned through the experiences of others. Maybe they can’t be applied right away, and maybe they won’t ever impact your life consciously, but the key to it all, we feel, is for you to stay open, and to have confidence that your brain and its experiences will do its part in filtering the junk out.
And so we leave you with only one piece of advice: below you’ll find a video where eleven experienced writers provide advice to the young — watch this video; absorb what could be beneficial, and filter out the bullshit.