Do You Ask For Advice?
For what seems like months on end, I find myself being asked for advice. I have to tell you, it wears me down a bit, because I wonder do people really listen? Do they actually hear what I’m saying? Do they really care what I think? And better still, do they take my advice and follow it? It has occurred to me that perhaps I should entertain writing an advice column.
I Think I Want to Write an Advice Column
I like to think I have a good head on my shoulders. I like to think that in my decades here on earth that I have actually learned a few things, and that what I’ve learned is of some value not only to myself, but also to others.
There was a period of time, back when I was very involved with chat rooms when I happened to meet a young man. In my profile back then, I was very heavy into quotes, and I’d often have 3-5 at a time in my profile. I had one quote, which sadly, for the life of me, I cannot recall at the moment, only that it was rather deep, that piqued this man’s interest.
He contacted me and asked, could you please explain what that quote means? I didn’t know who this person was, and I looked at his profile and found that he was a young man of about 20. My first thought was just to ignore him; he’s just a kid. I didn’t feel I was up to chatting or explaining myself. Well, he persisted until finally, I decided to answer him. I explained what the quote meant and he thanked me profusely.
With that tiny bit of a conversation began a very long friendship. For someone so young, he came across as very intelligent and a bit more mature than his young years conveyed. At the time, he was going through a rough time with his work, not sure if he wanted to start his own business, and also not sure if he should marry his girlfriend. I offered my thoughts, ideas and just simply my time through those years, and voila! It paid off big time for him. After thinking long and hard about all we talked about through those years, he got his head together and started his own business. Also, after many ups and downs with the girlfriend, they were able to work out their differences and they married. Through the ensuing years they had a child, and the last I heard, he was a very happy young man. I received so many thanks during our friendship; in fact, he even sent me a gift a few times to show his appreciation for my just being there. Talk about warm fuzzies! This is one example of why I feel I may have stumbled upon something I’d like to pursue.
What Are the Challenges in Writing an Advice Column?
I off-handedly commented to my best friend that perhaps I should start writing an advice column. I mean, with quite a few people asking for my advice recently (very flattering by the way), maybe it’s something I should consider. Her opinion was a heartfelt ‘of course’.
Life is all about decisions. Every move we make and every thought we have involves a decision. What makes some people very good at it, and others not? My belief is that it is definitely a learned skill. Perhaps there are a lucky few who come by it naturally, that their decision is almost always the right one. But I think they are few and far between.
Research, Research, Research
So, as I sat and digested the idea, I came up with questions. What happens if the wrong advice is given? What if a reader follows the advice and it turns out badly? Given the litigious nature of our society, could the columnist be sued? Is licensing a requirement? Could one make a decent living doing this? So, here again, decisions. And, as I sit here putting down these thoughts, one comes to mind, and that is to do some research first. Here’s an articles I found to be helpful, found on Ehow.com, How to Become an Advice Columnist Online. I’ll be doing more research before I come to any final decisions about pursuing this idea or not.
My purpose in writing this is to get a feel for others’ thoughts about writing an advice column, and what better place for me to find out than right here in our wonderful HubPages community.
Are there people out there who actually rely on advice columns? Are they faithful readers? Is there an age range of people who read this sort of thing? For the ones who do read or rely on it, is the answer useful? Are the people who read an advice column doing it strictly for entertainment? Is there any real value appointed to it from its readers? A lot needs to be considered.
I Need Your Help
What are some questions you folks would ask? What would you want to find answers to in an advice column? What would prompt you to write to an advice columnist?
Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Please use the comments feature below to share your thoughts.
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