A common piece of advice given to new writers is that they should mix with other writers with the aim that older writers will share their experiences, ideas and stories. This certainly prevents new writers from feeling isolated in what is, essentially, a lonely journey to publication. However, the down-side to this is that certain myths about writing skills, such as writers must be talented to write, are both disseminated and perpetuated. The following are the biggest writing myths.
Writing Is Easy
No professional writer is likely to say that writing is easy. What they probably mean is that the majority of his time is spent in study – learning the craft of writing, doing the research and coming to grips with criticism. Without doubt, experience helps make certain tasks easier. For instance, when a writer has been writing regularly for a certain publication, the writer will be able to accomplish certain tasks – like formatting or choosing the right font – on autopilot. Still, the attention to detail demands a lot of effort on the part of any writer, old or new.
Writers Have to be Talented
There is a saying something along the lines of, ‘success is 1% talent and 99% hard work’. This is true for anyone who aspires to become a professional writer. The truth of the matter is that talent alone cannot make a writer great or successful. Writing is a skill and, like all skills, it can be learned and developed. Practising the craft, reading voraciously and seeking and accepting guidance from others will, no doubt, help a new writer improve his writing skills.
Writing Skills are Not Important for Daily Life
Without doubt, there are hardly any professions that don’t require some amount of writing. Of course, the kind of writing will vary, but it’s still writing. Writing is, at its most basic, a form of communication. Being unable to communicate properly will leave anyone at all – from an employer who has no business writing skills and cannot compose a simple memo to his staff to a man who cannot tell his lover his feelings – extremely frustrated.
All Writers Suffer From Writer’s Block
While there are inherent difficulties when writing, experience shows that there are two distinct groups of writers who face writer’s block. In the first one, writers complain that they cannot write because they are not in the mood to, there is no proper lighting, there is too much noise, etc. These are nothing more than excuses. When the necessity arises – usually when there is a deadline to meet – rest assured, any writer worth his mettle will overcome writer’s block.
The second group of people who suffer from writer’s block are those who have become their own critics. They cannot finish what they write and constantly go back to perfect what’s been written and never learn to overcome writer’s block.
Once the many misconceptions made about writing – from writing being easy to all writers suffer from writer’s block – are dispelled, anyone at all will be free to pursue writing as a true vocation and derive much joy from it.
By Aneeta Sundararaj
This article was first published on Suite 101.com: http://suite101.com/article/writing-myths-a257178