What to do when confronted with two pieces of contradictory advice?

One perspective on writing says to give everything you have, right away; to not hold anything back for later, because more will always come, and you need to use what you have right now.

Another perspective says to keep your best for when the timing is right; when you have the right medium or platform, when the right people will be able to read what you have to say. To let it go before then is to waste it.

It’s these times when faced with contradictory advice that you learn who you are, because you can’t hide behind by others’ well-meaning opinions. That advice may not be right for you and your circumstances anyway. Only when there are two opposed ideas are they essentially cancelled out, leaving you with your own decision for your own reasons.

Which way I answer the examples I’ve given here will show what type of writer I am. But there are times when the stakes are even higher; when the decision is about what type of person you are.

Perhaps that is why one should ultimately seek out advice. Not to listen to it, but to gather enough that it can all be ignored and one can actually decide for oneself, and to decide without ignorance.

Author: mmoorejones

New Zealander and Philosophy, Politics and Economics student at Yale-NUS College.