Are you a bad writer? More than likely, the answer to that question is no. Why, then, do so many of us feel like we are bad at writing? When do we begin to feel like an actual author? Always remember, a writer writes. That’s the only qualification you need to start your writing career.
Myth 1: Good Writers Are Just Born With It
I’m sure everyone has had someone say, “Oh, they’re just born with that talent,” at least once in their life. When it comes to writing, this can be a detrimental myth. Writing, like any other skill, requires time and dedication. Sure, some authors may find it easier to write than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn skills to make you a better writer. Practice makes perfect, so don’t worry about whether or not writing comes “naturally” to you. You can become a great writer; you just have to put in the time and effort.
Myth 2: Writing Is An All Or Nothing Affair
Many people struggle with the idea that if you aren’t good at writing, you shouldn’t write at all. This can kill the motivation for any writer! Write, even if it’s bad. If you stop writing, how are you ever supposed to get better at it? This myth coincides with the idea that people are just born with the skill. Don’t stop writing just because you aren’t as skilled as you want to be today. Keep writing, and eventually, you’ll be amazed by the progress that you’ve made.
Myth 3: There Is A Single Writing Process, And If You Don’t Adhere To It, You Aren’t A Writer
While many professional writers have certain habits when it comes to writing, no one way is the correct way. What works for one author may not work for another, and it’s okay if the writing process differs from writer to writer. Personally, I prefer to write my first drafts on paper. Other authors only write using word processing tools. Neither way is right or wrong; it’s just a preference. Try different things when writing, and stick with what works best for you.
Myth 4: Writers Have Exquisite Vocabulary And Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Making A Grammatical Error
An author’s best friend is their thesaurus and don’t you ever forget it! Seriously, though, don’t be afraid to start out with filler words and go back to tighten things up later. Writers are constantly reading and discovering new words, so you aren’t a fraud if you look up the meaning of “verisimilitude” and work it into your next piece. As far as grammatical errors go, having a basic understanding of the do’s and don’ts of writing is helpful to speed things up. This won’t derail your piece, though, as long as you have a solid foundation. Besides, there are people who make their living by reading other people’s work and fixing the mistakes (thank you, editors!)
These myths stem from the idea that you are not good enough as a writer. This leads to two different camps: the writer that feels like a fraud, and the writer that feels like they are the best writer ever. Both camps are detrimental to your writing career. Don’t let these myths stop you. Seize the story and never stop writing!
Have you fallen for any of these writing myths? Did you know these were myths, or did you think they had some truth to them? Let me know in the comments which of these writing myths had you fooled!