Worst pieces of advice you’ve had as an aspiring writer?

We are used to giving & hearing good advice for aspiring writer. But here are a few that qualify to be some of the worst pieces of advice! Famous authors like Kurt Vonnegut or VS Naipaul haven’t been devoid of giving terrible pieces of advice to other aspiring writers. A few samples from these revered authors will crack you up if you’re sitting on your writing desk and contemplating to heed their advice.


“Don’t have children.” – Richard Ford

“Include a beautiful woman with raven locks and porcelain skin, preferably quite young, and let her die tragically of some unknown ailment.” – Edgar Allan Poe

“A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words.” – V.S. Naipaul

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Write only when you have something to say.” – David Hare

And here’s a few real life pieces of worst advice that the authors of our anthology First Brush on the Canvas received.

“Write about religion and family (only the good bits).” The intention was to domesticate my writing. – Stuti Chandra

“Give up on your day job.” That is a strict no-no for an aspiring writer, at least in India, especially if you have responsibilities. Being your own boss is fine, but the text message that trills when the salary hits your account is a tremendous confidence-booster. – Abhishek Mukherjee

 “Focus on your studies. Do writing etc later on in your life.” – Tnahsin Garg

“The inspiration will come.” We’re not Greeks, and I am pretty sure there is no Muse destined for us. Writing is about gritting your teeth together and writing day in and day out to get something that works. – Uttiya Roy

“You need to be more politically correct.”

“Sarcasm is not an emotion.” – Avishek Basu Mallick


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Like what you read ? This article is by the contributors of our recently published anthology which has 14 stellar short stories. First Brush on the Canvas is now available on Amazon, Flipkart and Kindle

Do get your copy !



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