Writing myths are the so-called universal truths about writing, followed by the words “every writer should know.” If there is anything universal about them, it’s the damage they cause to your creative process and your determination that put your thoughts on the blank page before you. Some of them can be discouraging and quite deadly – in the sense that they will literally stop you from pursuing your dream of writing.
1. Writers are born
Especially good writers – they were born that way, and all the rest of us are just common mortals with delusions of grandeur. Another myth is that writing is a talent, and you either have it or don’t. Yes, writing is a talent, but any successful person will tell you that talent is barely 10% of success, and the rest is hard work. Talents wither if they’re not explored and upgraded, with constant work. That is why the myth that writers are born, is a lie, a devastating, crippling lie that makes young writers give up. Good writers become that good through a lot of work. They study the craft of writing, write, and then write some more. And the good news is that you can learn to write better and better by doing all of these things.
2. Wait for inspiration
Writing is hard work, and if you want to write, you have to write diligently and determinedly, searching for inspiration in everything that surrounds you. Waiting for your muse to inspire you is just a waste of time – time you could have spent writing down your story. Write every day, even if what you write doesn’t figure into your story. Writing can become a habit, if you really want to write.
3. The great idea
This is a myth that ties into the previous one, with a small difference. Many aspiring writers love to say that they will start writing when they get a “Great Idea,” while, instead of writing, they waste their time talking about writing and waiting for the idea to come along. But the truth is, the great idea will not just appear out of nowhere. The greatest ideas are born from taking a normal situation and then, creating an alternative “what if” scenarios. Lots and lots of alternative scenarios until “great ideas” appear in one of them.
4. The perfect setting
Aspiring writers love to claim that they simply cannot write because they don’t have the time, or the right place to write. For instance, you may think you need a proper study, with a mahogany desk, a leather recliner chair, and lots of other creature comforts that only add on to your tendency to constantly procrastinate. By all means, if you do have a study where you can shut out the world, and write in a comfy chair, then do it. But few writers can claim to have the ideal writing conditions, and yet they still write. If you really want to write, you will find the place and the time, and you will be amazed at how you can forget about everything but the world you’re creating. Otherwise, you need to ask yourself whether you really want to write.
5. Writer’s block
Writer’s block is what happens to writers for many reasons, one of which is the belief in all the myths mentioned above. It’s the most dangerous myth, because it makes you stop writing and convince yourself that you simply aren’t able to write another word. However, believing that writer’s block is a myth, when you are actively experiencing it, is a bit difficult. However, there are many methods, systems and tools that will help you break the block and continue on your way to becoming the best writer you can be. One of the best methods is to write anything, even if it’s not good. The good is always just around the corner, or, on the next page. All you have to do is get there.
Image credit: Kathleen Conklin on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic.
As a 22-year-old art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.