We use cookies
This website uses cookies in order to improve your browsing experience. Read more on our cookie policies.
Bad writing advice
The Editors
22 November 2023
published in Issue Four

Writing advice is everywhere. Some of it might even be good! But we were interested in the bad. We asked seven writers for the worst writing advice they were ever given. Bad in general, or bad for them in particular. Bad advice about writing discipline, bad advice about self-expression and bad advice about the audience. For the authors we spoke to, the worst bad advice was given by established writers & rich people, while the best bad advice backfired into good advice.

☞  Mansoura Ez-Eldin: « You should always think of your readers while writing. »

  Ralph Tharayil: « Never listen to people’s opinions on your ongoing work »

☞  Ido Nahari: « Just tell her how you feel, she’ll understand. »

  Rebecca Rukeyser: « Humanity lies only in the details. »

  Sytske van Koeveringe: « People want a clear story, to be taken along. »

  Khaled Alesmael: « Write only in Swedish.»

  Samar Yazbek: « Let yourself be carried away by the madness of inspiration.»

Compiled by Nienke Groskamp and Job Wester