Hello! It is Writer Wednesday here at the blog, which means I am going to jump right in on a post geared towards writers. When I was young and still figuring out what being a “writer” really meant, I had a lot of misconceptions in my brain about the practice. I wanted to be a writer, but I don’t think I understood the work part. I just wanted the title. Here are 5 Lies I had to turn to truths before I could call myself a writer:
1. Writing is not Glamorous: It’s a beautiful fall day. You wake early before sunrise to nestle yourself in your desk chair and begin writing your novel. Every word flows effortlessly as you sip a hot cappuccino. There is nothing else to do but write your novel, and you do it perfectly. Wrong. Everything about this is utter fantasy. There is laundry to wash, dishes to clean, and your cat keeps knocking your pens on the floor. Your co-workers and friends don’t understand why you write in the first place, and that brings unadulterated guilt with every key stroke. Writing is messy, time consuming, and selfish. Completely selfish; which is why you should keep doing it.
2. Not Everyone Has Instant Harry-Potter-Level Success: More like “Hardly Anyone Has Harry Potter Success.” Writing is hard work. You can obtain J.K. Rowling success, but it’s going to take a lot of time with your butt in the chair and your pen to the paper. Another important thing to remember: Harry Potter was rejected at least a dozen times. The difference between J.K. Rowling and a starving artist is Rowling did not give up. Keep writing. (Many writers will tell you this is an unrealistic or off-base goal to have, but I disagree. Whatever makes you tick, hold on to it.)
3. The First Draft WILL NOT Be Perfect: Your first draft is almost always shit. It’s OK, everyone’s first draft is shit. That’s why it’s the FIRST draft. Just write the damn thing while the magic is still there, then slash it like a butcher when you’re done.
4. Self-Publishing Is Worth It: Lots of beginners will tell you, “but self-publishing isn’t real publishing.” I was victim to this mind-set when I first decided to be an author. Self-publishing is a growing opportunity for aspiring authors, and it isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s like a freight train. You don’t need a big publishing company to be a successful published author. However, I’ve learned you do need an editor, a handful of beta readers, and some knowledge of marketing. That shouldn’t stop you. Self-publishing is more work on your part, but definitely worth it, and not in any way a less worthy option. At least, not in my eyes.
5. Great Writers Were Not Born Great: You aren’t born a great writer. It is all in the practice. Even after you think you’ve mastered the art, there will be something new for you to learn. Writing is something you have to do every single day. No excuses. Write a grocery list, a poem, or even how mad you are that your cat keeps tearing up the curtains. Just write. Every day that you write you will get better.
The moral of the story here is: work hard, write every single day, and you are a writer. No publishing contract needed. Writing can be a private affair between you and your keyboard, and you’re still a writer. So get to writing!
Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think. I am brand new to blogging and would love your feedback!