Weekly Writing Challenge: Dear Abby
We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end, we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges are here to help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and writing styles.
To participate, tag your post with DPchallenge and include a link to this post, to generate a pingback and help others find the challenges. Please make sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge. We’ll highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Friday, and in our monthly newsletter.
When we give advice, it’s because we care about the recipient. When we ask for advice, we seek knowledge from peers and mentors that we respect. When we receive it, well, there’s no guarantee that it’s good or welcome. We all have expertise to share, and our blogs act as an ideal forum for dishing out our hard-earned knowledge.
We may be about to embark on a new adventure in our careers, and turn to a respected colleague for tips along the way. Or a sibling may be going through their first heartbreak, and come to us for encouragement. Or, of course, we may be targets of the classic unsolicited advice, in which our inner bliss is interrupted by random bits of how we could do XYZ better. Nevertheless, as community members and writers, as family members and friends, the giving and getting of advice is part and parcel of our lives.
Questions and Answers
According to the New Yorker, the first advice column dates back all the way to 1691. For more than 300 years, people have been writing to relative strangers to get impartial feedback on the trials and tribulations of their daily lives.
Fast forward to today, and the Internet gives us one of the most vast and varied audiences for budding advice columnists. Dear Sugar, included in the New Yorker article linked above, is just one of many. With the swoosh of a sent email, we can anonymously ask virtual experts about any question that pops into our mind.
For this week’s writing challenge, channel your inner Abigail Von Buren. Experiment with the question and answer format. Taking inspiration from a question you’ve been asked recently, whether in conversation with a friend or sent in from a reader, don your best counselor hat and share your expertise.
Not up for kickstarting your career as an advice columnist? We’ve got a few more ways to help get you involved with this week’s focus on advice.
- What’s the best, or worst, piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
- You’re the most important writer in the world, and everyone will be tuning in to your blog to listen to the one bit of knowledge you most want to share. What is it?
- Do you live by the advice you give? Sure, it’s easy to dish out opinions, but are you a pillar of your own beliefs?
We can’t wait to see what nuggets of wisdom you have to share with us this week!