There are so many lies about writing, most natural writers are afraid to admit it is their dream job. Instead of allowing those lies to scare you away, dig a little deeper and find that it’s not as hard to do as you may imagine.
When people begin talking about their careers, there are a lot of lies told. For the one person in the group that makes the mistake of telling people they are a writer, the lies about writing come to surface quickly. It is because of those lies that most writers won’t admit to what they love and what pays their bills. That is a shame and something that should be stopped. The lies about writing are often based on gossip or the bad experiences of some.
The truth is, writing is an honorable profession. Historically, those that could read and write fluently were given a higher status in society than others. Scribes were cherished for their ability to write. Bards and poets were visitors everyone enjoyed because they used their imagination and recollection to tell epic tales, stories and news from region to region. As time went on, writing replaced bards and poets.
Don’t let the lies about writing fool you. Writers may be laughed at but the power they hold is still felt through society today.
The lies people believe about writing are so silly, writers should laugh at them as the joke they are. Just like every accountant isn’t an unattractive toad, every writer isn’t a nerd locked in the basement of their childhood home, living in a fantasy world.
There are 5 lies that continue to spin in the writing world that needs to be settled. These are the lies that make even the best writer you know hesitant to discuss their passion and career to total strangers. They are just tired of explaining that writing is a real career, with real benefits and a surprisingly bright financial outlook.
Lie #1: Good writers have an easy time writing.
There is more to writing than typing fast on a computer, tablet or typewriter. There is more to writing than putting words to paper and selling it to an unsuspecting person. Writing is a serious profession and most writers that want to continue to be good at their craft STUDY their craft and work hard at it!
Just as an accountant or a lawyer wants to stay relevant in their field, a writer does to. Instead of typing a bunch of stuff and unloading it on people, writers take classes, notes, attend seminars and read about their craft. The brainstorming of ideas may be easy. But translating those ideas into coherent books, papers and other written material takes skill that should be respected.
Lie #2: To be a successful writer, you should have the natural talent for it.
This is a terribly funny lie. It really is because writing is a skill that anyone can learn. Just as people can learn to become a brain surgeon, they can learn to write content of any kind.
The truth of the matter is that people mistake passion for talent. If someone wants to be a writer, they should study their craft and do it. They should pursue it just as they would any other traditional occupation they wanted to pursue. It will take the same amount of passion becoming a doctor will become to become a successful writer.
To be a successful writer, you must be willing to go through the trial and error phase, the career ups and downs just like anyone else would in their career. It takes passion, not talent to become successful in the writing industry.
Lie #3: Writing isn’t a transferable skill.
This is downright insulting to anyone that has ever had a passing interest in becoming a writer. Written communication is the foundation of almost every profession! As society advances, it becomes an even more coveted skill to have.
Lie #4: Writers are signing up to become starving artists for life.
J.K. Rowling. Stephen King. Danielle Steele. Ann Landers. Sapphire. Pat Flynn.
If those names don’t ring a bell, it’s time to do some research. There are thousands of traditional writers with six figure salaries. There are thousands more of nontraditional writers that have six and seven figure salaries annually. Self-publishing, blogging, social media and the advent of the internet has changed the way writers are discovered and how much they earn.
Not only do writers earn money immediately for their work, they often earn royalties for decades. If writers are popular, they can also earn money with social engagements, speaking engagements and other endorsements. The days of starving as a writer ended a long time ago for those that are determined to make a living.
Lie #5: There is no cure for writer’s block.
Writer’s block is not a terminal illness. It is not something that strikes down writers, leaving them with an aversion to words for the rest of their life. Writer’s block is a term that most people use without understanding the full scope of the definition.
Most people define writer’s block as a condition of not knowing what to write or how to write it. There is no time limit or any other details associated with this ugly term. The reality of writer’s block is that it’s a cycle. Most writers write with passion and strength. They work on their craft without taking time to relax between projects. What most people think of as writer’s block is exhaustion. Let’s face it, there are only so many words a person can write or type before they need a break!
For those that are determined to think of writer’s block as an incurable disease that befalls all writers, okay. If that’s what you want to believe, believe this: it’s a made-up disease by those that either can’t find the perfection they think they need to write or by those that haven’t finished processing their work in their brain. There it is. The other side of writer’s block.
Some writers don’t allow themselves to write until their environment is perfect. When it’s not perfect, they don’t feel the magic of the words locked inside. There are others that can’t write what they feel because they don’t know how their story ends or they don’t know how to translate the words branded into their head to paper. Those cases of writer’s block are individual to the person and can be solved by that person alone. Every writer isn’t struck by one or both. There are many prolific writers that have never experienced either.
In a nutshell, being a writer is a beautiful thing. There is nothing to be ashamed of. There are a lot of lies about writing that need to be dismissed and these 5 are the most common. Writers should write despite the lies because those written words build nations and create empires.