The writing profession has been around for a long time. By now, most people think that there is structure humanity would have figured out how to do it right. However, there is a plethora of information on how to do it, and it is usually never the same.
Sure some information is similar; for example, the most common advice is to write. Outside of that, there are formulas, workshops, gurus and mentors, templates, and hundreds of other potentially useful tips to help someone who is considering writing as a hobby or a career.
Depending on who you decide to follow, your path as a writer can be as easy as simply writing, or extremely challenging as taking a myriad of workshops, joining writer’s groups, years of writing, and re-writing the same transcript and other expensive classes.
As we mentioned, there is no right or wrong way. But there are some lies you need to be aware of to save yourself time, heartache, and inspirational exhaustion.
Let’s jump right in and clear the air.
First Lie: Inspiration is a Must
Inspiration is always nice but never necessary. Like all states of emotion, inspiration cannot be an on-demand situation. Think about other jobs, do you think that people are super excited to get out of bed, fight traffic, and sit behind a desk where they do what they do all day?
They might love their job, and some days might be easier than others, but they have to show up daily and make sure everything is done. The same goes for writing. It is terrific when you are inspired, and words flow as if there is a divine intervention guiding your hand. But other days, you might feel like there is nothing more to write.
The more productive and effective way to look at inspiration is that it is great to have it, but not as important as you initially thought.
A salesperson can perform better if they have a software that tracks everything and keeps all the leads organized and updated, right?
However, a salesperson can also manually keep records of everything if they do not have that software.
Second Lie: Immaculate Grammar is a Must
Yes, every writer that respects their professional standing will have to proofread their work and make sure they have delivered the best version of the work. But, keep in mind you are a writer, not an editor.
Your calling is to communicate ideas and stories to people. The editor’s job is to make sure that the content is easy to read, with no grammar or punctuation errors.
Besides, have you ever read a published book and noticed how there are plenty of grammatical errors?
Writers should not strive for technical perfection, but rather for creative achievement.
However, do not entirely ignore basic grammar rules. Besides, your word document or any other software you use to write probably has basic ‘editing’ features that guide you along the way.
Do you want to step your game up?
Then get yourself Grammarly or an alternative and ultimately elevate your writing.
Third Lie: Being an Introvert is a Must
You perhaps have this image in your head, of a person wearing glasses in front of their computer, in a dark room, surrounded by books and cats, writing away!
Introverts can write, and so do extroverts!
I talk more than I write, and I write a lot! I love people; I love watching people, connecting with people, and deriving a lot of my inspiration from communicating with others.
Being an introvert or an extrovert has zero effect on your writing career.
Fourth Lie: Money is a Bulletproof Result for Best Selling Authors
It makes sense that the average person can arrive at this conclusion. Best selling implies a lot of sales, right?
But more often than not, the author did not make it on the list on their own. This means the entire chain of people involved has to get paid, agents, editors, publishing houses, etc.
In reality, many best-selling authors have other sources of income. To make it on the average best selling list, you need to sell anywhere from 3000 to 10000 books. Regardless of the price, most authors make somewhere between $1 to $2 per book.
Now you see that this income might not be sustainable?
However, as you sell more and more copies, book gigs and shows and expand your book into a brand, you have more of a chance to create sustainable income from your writing efforts. A lot of authors, once they have a couple of books out, move into public speaking, workshops, and other PR events to bring in more dough.
Fifth Lie: Finishing Your Book is Going to be Your Biggest Challenge
Finishing your book might be hard because you will ponder on the many paths you can walk through and finalize your story.
Then you can publish the book, and you begin introducing yourself as a published author!
People will be impressed and inquire to know more about your process, your books, and your lifestyle. But more often than not, none of those people will go out to buy your book.
That is going to be your biggest challenge.
Lack of support from people you know is hard, but it is common. For the most part, 99% of your sales will come from people you never knew existed in the first place. Strange, right?
Sixth Lie: Good Ideas Make Good Books
Everyone has great ideas!
How can we not?
We watch movies and consume content daily. We are bound to start spinning the wheels and come up with exciting scenarios!
Even the world we live in now, pandemic and all, is handing us over a million ideas of possible movie and book scenarios!
Good ideas are not as important as discipline.
If you have a good idea, it is a start. A book becomes a book when it is finished!
A finished idea is better.
Seventh Lie: Making it as a Write is Hard
Have you ever met someone, told them you are a writer, and they ignored you?
Chances are not!
Everyone has a book in them.
Becoming a writer is not as hard as it used to be, especially with the self-publishing route that is now available to all of us.
Finally, here is a little well-known secret; writers do not only write books!
You can write your book, and at the same time, develop content for marketing agencies, content agencies, websites, blogs, marketing and sale material, etc.
Writing is a viable career choice. It can take a while to put it all together but making it a writer is just as challenging as making it a restaurant owner or any other profession.
You can make it as a writer. I promise. It might not look like what you thought it would, but it’s very possible. Don’t get discouraged. Instead, get busy.
How about you? What lies do you think people believe about becoming a writer?