Over the years, I have learned many myths about writers and writing; and I am here to call out the assumptions and share the truth. So, hold on to your pens.
Myth 1: Writers have to be an expert in every genre or aspect of writing.
Truth: When it comes to your writing, the issue is not about expertise; it’s about content. Are you engaging your reader in the genre or topic you prefer? There are many genres and areas of writing; it’s hard to become an expert on all of them. Stick to what you know and get great at that. If you are great at everything, eventually, something will go lacking. Because someone is an athlete doesn’t mean they are good at every sport. I learned more about Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, as an athlete watching the Last Dance Documentary. Although Jordan was an outstanding basketball player, he wasn’t great at baseball.
Myth 2: Writers have to be original.
Truth: Writers emulate their influencers. Since many writers are readers, their favorite authors are influential in their writing. And chances are their favorite authors have been inspired by others. Traditionally, training for painters was copying their masters because they believed their voice and style would emerge as they grew as an artist. I agree with that exercise. When I attended a writing workshop with Kansas City native Glenn North, he taught poetry emulating the poem “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver. My “When Death Comes” poem is one of my best writing pieces. I did the same emulation exercise with my high school students, and they loved it. Even those who said they had never written a poem or didn’t know how to write poetry. Whether you are trying to develop as a writer or are a product of all the reading you’ve done, emulating your influencers is good. Every writer does it.
Myth 3: Writing happens alone.
Truth: There are some aspects of writing you should do internally, but having a writing partner or group helps with the writing process. Partners and writing groups provide accountability and feedback. With this process, you can become a better writer faster than learning alone. And this is the premise of Ignited Pens. We are a community that encourages, inspires, and motivates you through writing.
Myth 4: If you publish a book, you’ll make lots of money.
Truth: Using your book as a marketing tool to promote yourself or your business will help you make lots of money, but it depends on how much you want to invest in marketing. Publishing a book is prestigious, and it shows personal growth. You leave a legacy, and you affect others. But you want your book to be a stream of income for you. So you have to devise a brilliant marketing plan that goes beyond your book launch.
Myth 5: You are not a Writer
Truth: Everyone is a writer. It takes working on your craft and exploring your voice to embrace the significance of being a writer. Like Anne Lamott, the author of one of the best books on writing called Bird by Bird, reminds us, we think that excellent writing either comes naturally or not at all. Even professional writers struggle. They struggle to begin writing, they struggle with writer’s block as they write, and they even struggle to feel that their finished work is inadequate. Therefore, you are a writer. It’s within you; you have to ignite it.
While you may come across more myths as you continue your writing journey, challenge them and create with your own using your experiences. Please leave a comment sharing which of the 5 myths grabbed you. Like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram.