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Here’s The Best Writing Advice I Ever Heard

Here’s The Best Writing Advice I Ever Heard

Listen up!

If there’s just a single advice I can give you about this craft of writing, it is the very best one I ever got.

From Hemingway to Rowling, and even our own Achebe, this is the one guidance that has proved invaluable to all writers who lived their dreams: don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

I cannot now remember who told me or where, but I know my life and writing changed magically the moment I stopped writing to be correct and started writing to understand and express myself.

Here’s The Best Writing Advice I Ever Heard

Photo Credit: nattu via Compfight cc

So I tell you: don’t be afraid of being thought wrong.

It sounds too simple and trite, I know. But believe me, unless you take your time to digest and live by it, you’re going nowhere in your writing career.

Being thought wrong is fine

Let’s take J.K. Rowling, who is today the richest author, and the world’s richest woman who worked for her wealth rather than inherit it, as an example. The manuscript for her famous Harry Potter novel – which has sold over 400 million copies – was rejected by 12 publishers for reasons such as, ”It is far too long for a children’s book” and, ”Children books never make any money.”

In other words, they thought she was wrong. If she had equated making mistake or being thought wrong with failure as we often do today, she probably would have let go of her writing dreams.

But she understood that making mistakes is just fine. That being thought wrong is part of the process of being one’s true self and writing from one’s heart. And that’s the reason she made it.

Why most writing dreams die

If you ask me, the surest way to not write an article or start a blog or publish a book or join a writing critique group is the fear of being thought wrong.

So when next you’re unsure how to start an article, ask yourself if you’re just scared of being wrong. When you’re afraid of posting your piece on your blog or even Facebook, see whether it’s because you’re afraid of making mistakes. When next you feel reluctant to hand your work over to an editor, are you just concerned your deficiencies will be exposed?

If you answer yes to any of the above (or similar) questions, it’s time to change your course. It’s time to stop writing to be correct or accepted. It’s time to start writing, sharing and growing from your heart.

If you want to stand out, stop trying to fit in. [Tweet that OR share on Facebook]

This is not a call for you to neglect learning the rudiments of the craft. It’s not a permission to ignore your flaws or deliberately make mistakes for their own sake.

It’s only a reminder that making mistakes is human. And shying away from that fact is a great way to not take any action and not write anything worthwhile.

Free your mind. Write your heart

Letting go of the obsession to be correct is so liberating that when mistakes come your way – and they surely would come if you do worthwhile works – you would simply pick up yourself once again and get going.

Now go out.

Write. Start a blog. Publish. Take feedback. Grow. Make impact. Enjoy it.

Make human mistakes. And stop being so scared of them.

Question: How can overcoming the fear of making mistakes help your writing dream? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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-- Dr. Mahfouz A. Adedimeji | Fulbright scholar | Senior Lecturer, Unilorin | newspaper columnist

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. Thanks for such highly-needed reminder! I’m getting bolder for my next big risk 🙂

  2. Timely reminder for all we great writers in the making. Great work you’re doing, Mr. Tosin.

  3. This is a very good article and a great advice i’ve ever had online. You really boost my spirit. Thanks for this great words.

  4. This is definitely an excellent advice. Whatever one may dare dream, they would have a lot of people to pull him/her down to see the promising, aspiring performer fails to achieve their dreamed goals. They will work their way up to discourage them. ‘’You can’t make it .You’re just wasting your valuable time embarking on a white elephant project. ‘’These are the perfect words of pessimists. Am glad I write this to express myself, to express my thought instead of doing it to please others .Coach, thanks for sharing the fine piece…


    Coach Tosin, RWAN need you. sending this mail is Readers and Writers Association of Nigeria (RWAN) National president; the author of “MY FIRST DAY IN THE UNIVERSITY” please i will like to hear from you pretty soon. Once a Coach always a Coach, stay focus in what you love doing because its in you that you find the real you.

  6. Taofeek Tiamiyu says:

    Sir, in response to that though LEARN how to write a correct piece free of vague is GOOD but PRACTICING what u learnt is BETTER

  7. Thanks so much for such a booster! I’m such a passionate writer, but has been held down so long by the forces of ‘no degree’. Have completed two fantastic manuscripts, “Pronounce It Well”( a powerful phonetic book) and “Catch Them Young”(a moral instruction book for a fast decaying generation).
    Wants to get back on track, how do I go about publishing them?
    Thanks in anticipation of a favourable response!


    Hello, please where can I download writing resource such as “the element of style”

  9. Salawu Aisha says:

    Today I decided to continue the legacy of ‘publishing article on facebook wall on weekly basis’ of a friend with name Zakariyahu Abiodun(late). Initially, I thought am not capable of doing that because am just training myself 2 be a writer but with your article,I think I should still further with my decision. Thanks a lot sir

  10. Nice one from the naijawriterscoach himself. Well, the mindset of It-must-be-perfect has actually held a lot of potential writers down from accomplishing their dream of writing. Thanks for the reminder. Thumbs up!

  11. Hi. I must confess that your wordings were so touchy, inspressional and hardly rhetoric. I wish i can write so well. I know i have many ideas in my mind but how to unleash my innermost talent is realy becoming a problem to me.

  12. Samuel Edet says:

    Anytime I Read Your Friday Posts,boss
    I feel guilty
    Maybe i won’t read it again

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