Recently I have been given quite a few (unsolicited) chunks of advice in connection to my (limping) writing career. One of them (from a friend of mine who read maybe one of my works in the past five years) was to have an 'idea'. Because you see, a good idea is everything. You can be a great wizard of words but if there is no story, it just falls flat. Another though, given to me on the same day, completely ditched the previous one: anyone can have an idea, it's your style, it's the way it flows that captures the reader, otherwise, even the best story simply falls flat. Both of them came from people who didn't even write their own bachelor dissertations by themselves.
To add to the above, none of them was actually a keen reader. I could probably go on forever listing all the bad advice I received from people who don't do what I do and who are not even a potential audience for my work. However, I am in many ways grateful to them, for an invaluable lesson: what advice not to listen to.
I used to be one of these people who valued everybody's opinion just because it is an opinion. And as social creatures we should value the opinion of others, as other people are recipients of my work. However, I can count on fingers of one hand the number of people who truly supported me over the years: those who congratulate me on my good result in short story competition, came to see my play, read more of my things rather than few lines. That is of course, due to busy lives we are all running an nothing bad about it, if it wasn't for continuous advice I receive from people who have no idea what I'm doing. All this advice has mostly one and only result: immediate demotivation.
The human talent to demotivate others is nothing new, but has probably become particularly visible in social-media-driven culture of effortless success. Some people call it 'hating', I call it an interactive new ways of morning coffee-moaning. Back in time, people used to complain during breakfast over a newspaper. Nowadays, they google things- and then, all of a sudden their morning moaning can go viral, overwhelming us with crowds of DIY experts in different fields.
So unless you have a valid point, or you are specifically asked, or you have a genuine interest in exploring other people's capacities, if all you want to do is to fuel my lac of self-worth in forever-beginning authors world, your advice will just fall flat. And to those of you, who are losing their energy and passion over constant attacks of morning moaners, get a pair of ear plugs, and keep going. That should do the trick.