If you are trying to write a book, it probably means you’re getting a lot of advice. And I mean a LOT. Agent blogs. Editor blogs. Anonymous people at varying levels of publishing blogs. This blog. Author blogs. Aspiring author blogs. Forums. Betas. The information comes at you from all sides and you want to become a sponge so you can just absorb it all.
But there’s so much to take in, and it can be confusing. Didn’t your English teachers tell you to find synonyms for ‘said’ when writing dialogue tags? But wait…this isn’t what you’re supposed to do? When did adverbs become the devil? And it’s not cool to start with your MC waking up? But you read a book that started with the MC waking up. What the hell is voice? Why can’t you put a comma there? World building? How do you do that? And scariest of all: once you know the rules you can break them. WHAT??
Somewhere around here, you officially want to throw yourself into a cement wall. How are you ever supposed to process all of this stuff?
Well, you can’t. Not all at once.
This whole writing thing is a never-ending learning process, and you can put that knowledge to good use. Sort through the advice you’re receiving. Some things, you only need to hear once, and you’ll just remember. Maybe other advice is harder to remember. Write it down somewhere. Remind yourself of it for second (or third, or fourth…) drafts. Other stuff probably confuses the hell out of you. There’s no shame in asking questions, or in searching for more information on a topic you just don’t get.
Because I’ll tell you a secret: no one knows all the rules. Anyone who says they do is lying. If you’re trying your hardest to make your writing the best it can be, you’re probably already wandering down the right path. You’ll learn as you go, and you’re going to meet tons of people who want to help you along the way. Allow yourself some time to absorb it all at your own pace, and you will be happier for it.