"Well, you go three blocks along A street until you come to the B factory. But don't turn there. Turn right another block down. If you pass the C station, you've gone too far. So from the right turn a block after B factory, don't turn at the second light, but take a left at the third, and travel another five..."
At this point, I just blink at the direction giver and say, "Huh?"
That's because there are too many do's and don't confusing me.
My mom once read somewhere that people who are taught how to spot counterfeit bills are only shown the features of a genuine bill. That way when they see a bill that doesn't have all the features they studied, they know it's a fake. If you showed them both types and tried to detail all the differences, after a while, it'd get confusing and would be easier for them to forget which is which, only knowing they remembered seeing this feature on ONE of the bills.
Since entering the writing world, I've come across so many do's and don't list, they're starting to blur into one big jumbled mess in my head. Publishers, agents, review sites, bloggers, authors...they all have their own pet peeves and preferences they like to tell everyone they do and don't like. What's worse, what one person likes, another might detest.
Five billion people on the planet with five billion different likes and dislikes....all on one social media network (okay, there are many networks, but you get my drift, right?). After a while, it gets harder and harder to do something that doesn't upset someone else. Makes you want to clutch your hair in your hands and exclaim, "Pet Peeves are my new pet peeve!" Which makes me exactly the same as everyone else with their do's and don'ts. What a strange, ironic cycle huh?!
What's worse, when I read a new pet peeve list and find I actually do one or two items on that person's list, I feel all singled out, like the author is pointing directly at me saying, "Yes, I'm talking about YOU, Linda Kay!" Yikes. Besides, it's kind of upsetting to learn I'M the "annoying" type. I really hate learning I'm annoying. Talk about a duck-your-head-in-shame moment.
After cowering away in humiliation, I just want to argue and whine, "but....but...I was told to join all these social networking sites to promo my book. Now you're saying don't do this, this and this? I'm soooo confused. Just tell me what I'm supposed to do that's RIGHT!"
So until I can un-scramble my brain and organize all my newly learned intel into something understandable, I'm gonna take a mini break from researching new promotional techniques! It's back to the basics of story crafting for me.
On Friday, I'll provide some "do" tips I've learned about writing story outlines!
What about you? Are you a fan of the do's and don't list? I keep reading them, so I must find them useful. But I do prefer discovering what I'm supposed to be doing more than leaning what I'm not supposed to be doing!!