If you are in the writing world, you know there are a lot of misconceptions, myths, and wrong information floating around about writers. Many people look at writers and automatically assume certain things. As I’ve said before, I’m new to being a full-time writer. In the time that I’ve been in the writing community on Twitter (about a year), I’ve seen a lot of things that make me scratch my head and wonder.
I’ve been given by writers, editors, publishers, and through other sources a number of pieces of advice. I did a post about what advice to take but this is something I think will be beneficial for others to read. I’m sure many of you have been given advice or heard about these myths and thought, um…what?
All of these myths were things that people told me to be truth or I read in articles and books. All of these have been proven to be myths. I know this based upon my communication with writers and by experience.
I hope you enjoy this list. 🙂
Let’s get started. 🙂
10 Writing Myths
Reading Makes You a Better Writer
While reading will give you a better view of what genres are out there along with writing styles, it doesn’t necessarily make you a better writer. It makes you a great reader, I insist. I’ve been reading all my life but it didn’t prepare me to write. There are many more things that make you a good writer. Things like practice, risk, and time are among those things. If you read a lot, don’t believe that it will automatically make you a great writer.
We all say the same thing, I am having writer’s block. I’ve been guilty of saying this myself. However, I don’t think it is real. I think that it is a matter of motivation rather than a block. It could be your emotions, life factors, laziness, full mind, etc. I think that clearing your mind and shutting out lifetime factors is your solution. I know, I’m going to get blow back for this. It’s okay, I can take it. Writer’s block is our body’s way of saying, “Hello! You need something before you can sit down and write!” Do that.
Writers always write when inspired.
I know that if you take your craft seriously, you write no matter what. I’ve learned that writing everyday is what makes you push forward and become a better writer. When I’m uninspired, I still write. Why? Because it will record my skill at different levels. It will show me what I’m capable of and at what time. Sometimes those pockets of uninspired writing lead to amazing output. You don’t always have to be inspired to write. Just keep it up and the inspiration will come.
Writing is a Solitary Profession
If Twitter has taught me anything, it has taught me to reach out and work with others. Yes, there is a great deal of solitary effort. However, you can’t grow if you don’t share your work. There are beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders, editors, literary agents, and publishers. Not to mention the people you share your work with in between these steps. Even if you don’t go through any of these outlets, you still need feedback. It’s important to share your work so that you can grow as a writer. Sometimes you don’t realize you have bad habits or write a certain way until someone else points it out. Take this feedback and hold tight to it. It’s invaluable to your craft.
Self-Publishing is Less
In my experience, many writers have self-published and have gained success. I also feel that self-published authors work hard to provide quality work. You get to have artistic freedom and choose covers, art work, and pricing. You call the shots. Just because you don’t publish traditionally doesn’t make you less of a professional. Don’t let people look down on you. If you feel this way, I’m sorry you do. However, I respectfully disagree with your assessment. Ask any indie author I’ve read. Their books are amazing. 🙂
Writer’s are 100% Confident
Many people think that writer’s are confident in what they are doing all the time. Let me tell you, I’ve witnessed and felt the falseness of this statement. Writing is full of self-doubt, frustration, anxiety, breakdowns, and wanting to give up. It is a part of being an artist. We all have moments where we want to scrap something we’ve written and give up. It happens. Self-doubt is a huge part of being a writer from what I’ve seen and felt. It’s a process we go through. So, take a deep breath and realize that you will get through the tough times.
This makes me laugh. We all want to come up with an amazing idea that no one has ever come up with before. Well, let me tell you something, not gonna happen. All ideas we use are recycled one way or another. I’ve yet to come across a book, TV show, or movie with an idea totally unique to any other. It is just a fact. The key is not to come up with a unique idea but to find a more creative way of telling a new story. I can’t wait to read what you come up with. 🙂
Writing is Hard
Yes, it requires you to obtain skill by practice and time. However, the act of writing isn’t hard. It’s formulating thoughts and making it into something readable and entertaining that is hard. I’ve read many things that have little skill or little entertainment value. It really isn’t hard to sit down and write. You could have atrocious grammar and the inability to create a story. You still wrote it, right? I also think that what is hard for us writers is to start writing. Once we start, it seems to be a lot easier to continue. Don’t you agree?
Writers Make Tons of Money
Publishing is a gamble. It’s like playing the ring toss where you think you’ll win the fish. There are many factors that determine the amount of money you are going to make. The main one, I’ve learned, is marketing. Many think that traditional publishers will market your book, but you’re wrong. You still have to market yourself. The genre of your book, the market, time of year. All of these play a factor in how much money you make. The trick. so I’ve learned, is to learn the business end of the writing career before you publish. I know many won’t do this, but it has proven to be sound advice for writer’s I’ve spoken to.
Writers Don’t Write For Free
Starting out, it is important to share your work. I know plenty of people who started off writing fan fiction. They share their work on Wattpad, Fan fiction dot net, or other writing platforms. It allows you to gain an audience and you get feedback. Personally, I started sharing my work on Wattpad. I started with fan fiction and moved on from there. Many writers don’t get money for everything they write. So, use this time to share work for free. Submit to free sites, websites, and blogs. Once you’ve gained an audience and feel your writing is ready, start submitting to contests, magazines, newspapers, and eventually literary agents. Good luck!
There you have it! These are the top 10 writing myths that I’ve read about, been told, or learned are myths. I hope you enjoyed this list and my reasons. 🙂
Tell me, what are other myths you’ve heard or experienced? I look forward to reading them.