People have an instinctual need to communicate and share experiences. It may be through creating art such as painting or drawing. For many others, it’s through conversing with family and friends. But, the most effective and most broadly-reaching method of communication is writing.
Of course, much human communication turns into gossip. While gossip can be fun, it can also be dangerous. Gossip often leads to the spread of often inaccurate information which can then become well-dispersed myths.
Writing is a field full of myths that hold back many talented individuals who believe one or more of them is actually true. Here, we’ll take a look at five common writing myths pervading the writing world. Let’s bust each of these writing myths once and for all!
Writing Myth #1: Writing is Easy for Some People
Perhaps the biggest writing myth out there is that writing is easy for some people. Whether you’ve been writing for thirty years or just started last week, writing is not easy. No matter your age, experience, or income, writing is hard work and at times it’s quite brutal.
Just like with any skilled labor, practice and experience do make some writing tasks easier. Writers find different formats and topics that we’re able to eventually write on autopilot, for the most part. Every writer is different. Find your comfort zone and practice on bettering your strengths. These are both keys to becoming a better writer.
For even the most experienced writers, writing is not easy. Good writing is definitely much harder. There’s still so much to write about out there, though. So, you don’t have to be good at writing every single topic or in every single format. You just need to write what you know best and write the best way that you know how. That isn’t always easy, but it does make your writing easier.
Writing Myth #2: You Need Writing Talent to Be a Good Writer
Writing talent can certainly help separate the great writers from the good writers. But, talent alone isn’t enough to make a great writer or even a good writer! It is not necessary to have writing talent to be a good writer. Just like with any skill, your writing skills can be learned, developed, and fine-tuned over time.
Just as with any other field that “requires” talent, writing is a product of practice and hard work. You can learn more about the writing craft by reading everything you can. Then, reach out for guidance and suggestions about improving your writing. These are great ways to improve and grow as a writer.
But, the number one thing you need to become a good writer is nothing more than dedication. Through dedication, you can discover your own unique writing talent. Dedication to improving your writing skill may not make you a New York Times bestselling author. It may not make you an article writer for hire with a six-figure income. But, if you’re dedicated enough, you can definitely write well enough to make a decent living. No traditional “talent” is needed to be a professional writer.
Writing Myth #3: Writing is Not a Skill
This writing myth absolutely baffles me: writing is not a skill? Others will even say, “sure, writing is a skill, but writing is not a useful skill.” This myth is downright wrong. It likely comes from people who simply have never figured out how to put two words together in writing. Too bad for them. Don’t listen to this myth.
Even if you aren’t making a living writing words, writing is still a crucial communication skill no matter what line of work you choose. The better writer you are, the easier it is to get across what you want. That’s because well-developed writing skills allow you to clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas.
Some people have this weird idea that you have to be a published author or a seasoned journalist to bother with writing. Every single professional field in the world can benefit from having people with well-developed writing skills. With strong writing skills, you give yourself the ability to land better jobs and advance further in your career, whatever it is you decide to do.
Even in fields where you may not use writing in your everyday work, writing is important. Having strong writing skills can allow you to write proposals to new potential clients or customers. Strong writing skills can help you get connected to the top producers and thought leaders in your field. There are just so many benefits to being dedicated to improving your writing skills.
Writing Myth #4: You Can’t Make a Living as a Writer!
Making a living as a writer isn’t only possible, it can actually become a very rewarding profession. While making a living as a freelance writer can certainly be difficult, it’s really no harder than living while working any entry-level job. The difference as a writer is that you have to show up everyday and work a lot more than 9 to 5 five days a week to truly reach your potential.
You don’t even have to go to college and get an English major to be a professional writer. All you need is the ability to put two words together. Even if you weren’t an A, B, or even C student in English composition, you can always learn and make money from writing.
There’s so much writing work out there that you can easily earn the same as you would from an entry-level job in far fewer than 40 hours a week. You will likely spend 15-30 hours a week writing for pay, and another 15-30 building your business. Be sure you’re willing to put in that level of dedication.
Because writing is such a flexible skill, you just have to know where to look for people willing to pay top dollar for writing. Earning a living as a writer is extremely rewarding, especially once you find the niche or niches at which you can write on autopilot. So, the next time someone asks you, “Can I Make a Living as a Writer?” you can tell them yes, if you can put the work, time, and dedication into it.
Writing Myth #5: There’s No One Cure for Writer’s Block
Entire books have been written on the subject of writer’s block. It is the most pervasive writing myth in the entire writing world. While there are definitely going to be days where the writing simply will not come, calling it “writer’s block” makes it worse. In fact, most of the time “writer’s block” is all in your head.
If you believe that you are suffering from “writer’s block” ask yourself if you’re in one of two states:
Waiting for the perfect time, place, mood, or alignment of the stars to write
Waiting for the perfect moment to write is simply not excusable. There will never be a perfect time for anything you want to do. Just do it! Sorry, I don’t mean to yell, but if you really want to be a writer, then you will write as often as you can.
You don’t even have to write well necessarily. Writing really is just like going to the gym. If you do a little everyday, you will never find yourself truly blocked as a writer.
Internal blocks that lead to writing becoming stalled
The second state is more excusable. Especially as an author, I’ve found myself with a great story, but then I find myself stalled. This is not actually a “block,” though, as I’ve learned, but only as long as you don’t see it as such. Sometimes, an idea simply isn’t done forming in your mind. It’s fine to set your writing aside, let your ideas gel together, then return to it.
The trick is to never call your stalled writing a block. Once you call it a “block,” you just create a new obstacle for yourself. If you ever wish to be the most productive writer you can be, do not give into the idea of “writer’s block.” I used to do that, and I’d say by doing so, I ruined more than one potentially good book that I ended up tossing.
If you find yourself stalling in your writing, walk away and be real with yourself. Sometimes you simply need to step away and do something else. Whatever you do, always resolve to come back to it and get it done. Sure, you may need to do a bit more research on a topic or plan things out better. Other times, you just need your brain to work through ideas a bit longer. Once you make the right adjustments, your writing will flow again, guaranteed.
Don’t let any of these writing myths hold you back with your writing! If you ever find yourself doubting your ability to write, just sit down and think of any topic. Then, start writing everything you can think of without worrying where it’s going to go. You just never know where simply writing will take you. Whether you write to advance your career, as a hobby, or as a career in itself, I wish you the very best!
~ Amelia <3