Debunking Common Myths About Writing

Debunking Common Myths About Writing

myths about writing

Have you fallen for any of these myths about writing?





Posted by  on April 5, 2018 ·

Myths abound in the world of the arts, and writers are not immune to them. Many of us succumb to the fallacies that are floating around about what it means to be a writer or what it takes to become a writer.

So what’s the matter with falling for myths about writing?

Myths about writing lead to unrealistic expectations. Some of us end up believing that becoming a writer is easy. Others believe it’s impossible. We think writers are poor, drunk, or living in a state of perpetual despair. After all, one must struggle to become an artist, right?


Myths About Writing

Expectations are important. When we set realistic expectations, we can plan accordingly, and our chances for success increase exponentially. Conversely, when our expectations are incorrect, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and failure.

So let’s debunk some of the most notorious myths about writing:

Myth: You shouldn’t read much, because other writers’ styles might leak into your work and it won’t be original.

Truth: That’s like saying you shouldn’t interact with other people because you might adopt their personalities. Trust that your own unique style will emerge, even if it is influenced by other writers. You’ll never become a good or great writer if you don’t study the work of writers who have gone before you,. You’ll also be ignorant about the craft and the marketplace, and it will show in your work.

Myth: Good grammar is unnecessary if you want your writing to be raw and edgy.

Truth: Writing is raw and edgy because of what it communicates, not because it’s peppered with typos and constructed with poorly structured sentences. Bad grammar and weak sentences are not interesting or original; shoddy writing signals a lack of professionalism and a lack of skill.

Myth: We should only write when we’re inspired.

Truth: There may be some truth to this one. But that doesn’t mean we should sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. Writers must learn how to get inspired and stay inspired. And we also need to learn how to get our work done even when we’re not feeling inspired. Otherwise, we’ll produce a whole lot of nothing.

Myth: Artistic success is borne of pure talent.

Truth: Talent is a booster, not the foundation upon which a successful artistic career is built. There’s no single ingredient that leads to success. Talent helps, but hard work, commitment, and self-discipline help a lot more.

Myth: You don’t need to hone your creative writing skills because you have natural talent.

Truth: No matter how talented you are, you are not born knowing how to read and write. There is work to be done!

Dispel Those Myths About Creative Writing

Misconceptions about the arts are rampant. It’s no wonder artistic people are so misunderstood by the rest of the world. We tend to be an unusual bunch, and many of these misconceptions come from artists themselves.

Have you ever fallen prey to any of these myths about writing? Are there other myths about writing that you’ve noticed? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment, and keep writing.

30 thoughts on “Debunking Common Myths About Writing

  1. Myth: We should only write when we’re inspired.

    Shouldn’t it be “We should write only when we’re inpired” ?
    Misplaced modifier “only” error. Sentence implies that the only thing we should do when inspired is write and nothing else. Corrected sentence says intent of statement as to when we should write. Then the myth stated correctly. I see this error misplaced “only”in almost all written and spoken speech I hear.


  2. That first myth surprises me, I can’t imagine a writer who doesn’t enjoy reading. I have to admit I do need inspiration to write, but for me a little goes a long way. I just finished a 10 year project that began with a single idea.


      • Actually it was just a 90 minute two act stage play. But the challenge to writing it was because it has only two characters, so I had to make all the dialogue and action happen through them. It’s basically a boy meets girl love triangle, with one part of the triangle being an off stager character. It took so long to write because I’d set it aside and work on other projects when I ran out of ideas, then get back to it when the well of creativity had refilled.
        All told I’m proud of my little comedy/drama. It was the third two act stage play I attempted, but the first I completed. I’m calling it Serenade.
        I’m also completing a novel that took 18 years to write, so 10 years (actually 11, I checked my old drafts) doesn’t seem so long. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Debunking Common Myths About Writing — K. D. Dowdall – The Corner of Laura

  4. You are 100% right. I never read a book that wasn’t as good, as the book could be. I have three 200-300 books ready and waiting for a proper editor. I go to writer’s workshops and I learn. Stay in tense and remember the who, what, where, when and how of every situation. Don’t lose the reader. Worthwhile and needed suggestions Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I tweeted a quote from your article! Thank you. And sent it to my dreamer son.

    “When we set realistic expectations, we can plan accordingly, and our chances for success increase exponentially. Conversely, when our expectations are incorrect, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and failure.” K. D. Dowdall

    Liked by 1 person

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