The Myths of Writing: Have You Bought Into These?

There is an image most people carry of the artist (think Van Gough's self-portrait, the one with his ear bandaged), working in solitude in a barren garret in a dark corner of the city. Everyday is a struggle. He continually walks between moments of brilliance and moments of insanity. It's a romantic image, I suppose. Built around the belief that an artist must suffer for his art.

This applies not only to the painter, mind you, but also to the actor, the dancer, the photographer, the writer. We all must suffer for our art.

But image and reality are often two different things. Writing, for example, does NOT have to be a torturous process of endurance and pain. In fact, it should be exactly the opposite. Liberating. Joyous. Enlightening. Why else would you want to invest so much of yourself in it?

So let's take a closer look at a few common writing myths.

This first one actually applies in all areas of a person's life. Simply stated: Having a big ego is a bad thing. It's unbecoming. It's boastful. It puts you in a negative light.

The truth is ? if you want to be a success at anything, you need an ego. It motivates you, keeps you moving, pushes you to do your best. It's not your enemy. It's your ally.

The key to making it work for you is to keep it directed inward. Pump yourself up silently. Let it fill you with pride and a sense of possibilities. That's what the ego does best. Used wisely, it will move you toward your writing goals, not away from them.

Our next common writing myth is one you hear all the time: you have to write something original.

What is originality?

There's only one thing in the world that can make your work original. That's you. Because that's all you have to bring to the table as a writer. Who you are. Your history. Your experiences. Your family. Your beliefs.

When a publisher says he wants something original, he's saying he wants something fresh, something that reflects you the writer. He wants your voice, your honesty. The world already has a Stephen King and a Mary Higgins Clark and a John Grisham. It doesn't need more of them.

Our final common writing myth (though there is no shortage of such myths, we are limited by space): the slower you write, the more time you spend with each and every word, the better your writing will be.

The catch to this one is simple: there's a time and place for writing, and there's a time and place for editing.

When you mix the two activities (which are very different in their requirements and purpose), you rarely do either one justice. If anything will suffer, it will be your writing. Because suddenly you'll be under the constraints of the editor sitting on your shoulder. You'll be fretting over the words while losing perspective on the more important elements of the story. Does the scene work? Are your characters being true to their nature? Does this move the story forward?

The truth is this: your writing will ALWAYS be better when you write in the moment. Remember when you were a child? When you could spend hours building a sand castle or playing catch or flying a kite? Those were moments when nothing else in the world existed because you were completely absorbed in the activity. Write with that same captivation, as if each scene were unfolding right before your eyes, and you'll find your writing will not only be vivid and powerful, it will flow faster than you ever imagined possible.

Writing does not have to be a torturous, exacting process.

Allow yourself to have fun with it, and you'll be a better writer for the effort.

David B. Silva
The Successful Writer
http://thesuccessfulwriter.com

Does Your Plot Suit Your Characters And Vice-Versa?

Creative Writing Tips ?When an idea comes to us for a short story, we either... Read More

Write That Down! Compulsively Collecting Content for Your Writing

Have you ever read someone else's writing and thought one of the following things:Where did... Read More

Becoming the Total Package

Being a great writer is no longer enough if you plan to score a big... Read More

Need a Book Coach, Ghost Writer, or Editor? Part 1

If you either want to write a book to help others create a better life... Read More

Seven Compelling Reasons to Get Your Name on a Book Cover

Have you ever considered writing a book? If so, maybe you've already established firmly in... Read More

Screenwriting ? The Value of Structure

Structure in the form of frameworks, work processes and goals enhances creative output:a) Short term... Read More

Five Keys To A Successful Query Letter

Do you know what a query letter is? If so, you are of a rare... Read More

Top Ten Ways to Write Like a Pro Checklist

Sure you can write, but can you write crisp, compelling copy thatezine publishers, related Web... Read More

Making Better Word Choices ? 4 Examples

Choosing the wrong words can have a poor effect on your writing and on you.... Read More

Im Just The Writer

Writers are often are greatly surprised or disappointed by how their work is changed when... Read More

Amazing Ways Writing Articles Can Improve Your Business

How to get a lot of traffic to your website FREE? Writing articles. This is... Read More

Use Real-Life Templates For Writing Success

At some point along the way, most of us have used what are commonly called... Read More

New Authors Publishing Options

All your publishing options are as follows:--Conventional publishing--Vanity or subsidy publishing--Print-on-demand publishing--Self-publish yourself--Get help with... Read More

Turning Your Journal Into An Idea Bank

A few magazines refer to their written idea sources in assigning articles to reliable, experienced... Read More

What Is The Single Worst Writing Mistake?

The following answer sounds simplistic?but think about it. The single worst writing mistake is "not... Read More

Creating a Writing Space

It's important to have a space set aside in your home for writing. It can... Read More

How to Have an Effective Writing Group

The works you've written are numerous, ranging from short stories to even the novel, hidden... Read More

Story Building with Imagination

In the words of Aristotle, "happiness is self contentedness helping to make children deeply and... Read More

Writers Block - Melting the Ice

What does one do as a writer who loves writing and feels empty of creativity?When... Read More

Do I Have To Be A Good Writer to Market My Own Business?

Many of the most effective low-cost marketing strategies require writing. What can a small... Read More

Writers Helping Writers - A Noble Legacy

It is satisfying to be a part of such a noble tradition and to know... Read More

What Does It Take To Make Your Memories Into Publishable Memoirs?

Why should you consider creating a memoir of your personal experiences for publication?Who would want... Read More

An Introduction to Self Publishing Material

Any article, report or book which is bought or sold with reproduction rights is generally... Read More

Writing Secrets You Must Know

Writing better is critical for students. But it's even more important for business communicators.Let's face... Read More

Freewriting: A Strategy That Will Bring Your Writing To Life

Freewriting is a release from the prison of rules. It allows the fastest and deepest... Read More

Writing Query Letters

A QUERY LETTER is written to an editor or agent to describe a piece of... Read More

Put a Spin on Your Idea!

Eight or nine times out of ten, picking up and leafing through a magazine's or... Read More

And What Do You Do? ... How To Know When Youre a Writer!

It's the funniest thing. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I... Read More

Open a Vein

If you want to be a writer, you must write and that requires sitting at... Read More

Freelance Writing: A Career From Anywhere

An island in the Mediterranean. A beach in Africa. The east coast of New Zealand.... Read More

Writing IS a Business

Why is it that so many people don't take writing-as-a-job seriously? I once heard it... Read More

Plotting Problems - Episodic Writing

The rejection letter says: "Your story, on the surface, appears to be well-told and has... Read More

How Can You Find Freelance Work As A Writer?

For those looking at the jobs listings for writers, they may find themselves feeling left... Read More

Ten Ways to Get Cheap (and Free) Magazine Samples

1 - Join a reading or writing group. Ask members to bring in their already-read... Read More

7 Weapons to Conquer the Giant Procrastination Keeping You from Your Book Dream

Have you been guilty of procrastinating on your book project, lately? Like the author, many... Read More

The One-Plot Wonder

Back in the mid to late 1980s I was a security guard. The pay was... Read More

How To Write for the Web

The Scanning ReaderWriting for the Web is different than writing for print. The differences are... Read More

A Series of Articles on Autobiography

ESSAYS ON AUTOBIOGRAPHY: NUMBER 1Preamble:Nearly seven years ago I wrote my first essay on the... Read More

Dig Deeper to Reveal Character

He ran up the steps and knocked on the door. After a few moments, it... Read More

6 Ways to Toot Your Own Writing Horn

You know you've got writing talent. Others enjoy your work and you've even sold a... Read More

How to Build A Success Freelance Career (Part 1)

In the current job market, many editorial workers have turned to freelancing as a matter... Read More

Crime Writing Beckons

If your cash is running out fast and you have an incessant need to write,... Read More

Character Motivation - Always Ask WHY

For many years, I've been a tutor for students undertaking courses in writing romance, crime... Read More

Screenwriting, Screenplays, Screenwriters ? Incremental Productivity

When attempting to understand Creativity and Innovation, it pays to import the vast range of... Read More

A Plan

All writers should use a plan whether written or reflected. This includes the initial idea,... Read More

Write On! - Key Components of Successful Business Communication

Written communication is often the first impression you make on potential customers, business partners, or... Read More

How to Create Incredible Characters Easily

Creating incredible characters can be easy if you know of a few simple rules:Each character... Read More

How To Identify Your Own Style Of Writing

This article is to help identify which style, technique or strategy of writing that one... Read More

Writing Good Dialogue.

There's nothing that kills a scene like hackneyed dialogue. Just stop and think about the... Read More

Top Ten Tips (Part 2)

Golden Rules For New Writers - Things you need to know before you begin.Rules govern... Read More