I stood in front of the group to share the importance of building relationships for creating a successful writing career. The lady introducing me explained that she brought me to speak because writers are notoriously loners, hidden away in our writing dungeons.
My husband – and faithful roadie at these events – had stepped away from the seat next to me. I could see him across the room, laughing.
I am not a loner.
I do not hide away and write.
I am not drinking while staring at a blank screen.
And I do not believe for a moment that most writers are this way. I think “being a loner” is one of many myths piled on top of an already challenging career.
Top Ten Myths about Being a Writer
Myth #1 – All writers are loners. Writers are just like every other group of people. There are writers that like to write alone. There are writers that prefer the crowd of the local coffee shop. There are writers that love to speak and teach. There are writers that love to research. In other words, writers come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Most of us prefer NOT to get in a box.
Mith #2 – All writers are good spellers. “You must have done great in English.” I get this comment a LOT when people find out I am a professional writer. I sometimes confess that I have a degree in Leisure Services, but it depends on how much time I have (because I then have to explain what a degree in Leisure Services does). Smart writers find great editors and software programs to help them with their struggles.
Myth #3 - All writers just want to tell a good story. Some writers want to find ways to make money with the words they write. Some writers want to expose a hidden truth. Some writers just like seeing their words on paper. Again, the reasons writers write can be as diverse (or even more diverse) than the writers.
Myth #4 – Successful writers make a lot of money.
(Sorry – laughing too hard to respond).
Myth #5 – All writers want a contract with a major publisher. Some writers prefer to maintain control of their creations. Indie publishing gives writers the power to direct the path of their story that is given up with signing with a publisher.
Myth #6 – All writers are natural wordsmiths. Every skilled craftsman understands the importance of growing and expanding the skill. Most writers attend classes, workshops, and conferences to continue to understand words and how wield them with the most power.
Myth #7 – All writers sit around all day writing. We wish! Writers have families. Many writers have second jobs. Most writers love words so much that the create time to put words to paper.
Myth #8 – All writers hit the wall of writer’s block. Writer’s block never existed. The term refers to the writer’s creative ability to procrastinate and dodge the responsibility to putting down the words.
Myth #9 – All writers are controlled by the muse. (See Myth #8) Writers that are actively pursuing words will find a way to make that muse dance.
Myth #10 – All writers must write what they know. Writers should be writing their heart and their experiences, but they should also be writing their interests, their learning, and their growing. Besides, you and I can walk through the exact same path and experience two different journeys.
The next time you see a writer, look deeper for the person. All writers work with words, but the similarities stop there.