The 5 Biggest Lies Beginning Writers Like to Tell

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If you’re a beginning writer, chances are pretty good that you’ve told yourself one of these lies at some point or another. How do you know if you’ve fallen prey to one of these lies? You’re not doing precisely what you love—writing.

Lie #1: To be a writer, you have to be born with it (which sounds like, “Jane is such a great writer. She was totally born with it. Life’s so unfair.”)

Bollocks. That’s a load of junk. Writing is a skill like any other and can be learned. The fact that I’m writing this and it makes sense is Exhibit A. The fact that I’ve written an Amazon Best Seller is Exhibit B. I definitely wasn’t born with “it”, and depending on your perspective my book might not even be all that great but regardless, I am a writer. If you’re passionate about writing—write. Find the time to write for a total of 15-20 minutes a day.

Lie #2:To begin work, you must know what you’re going to say ahead of time (which sounds like, “I can never think of anything good to write about.”)

No, you don’t. When you’re talking to your Mom on the phone, do you know what you’re going to say 10 minutes from now? Not normally. You trust that you will find the right words at the right time and never doubt you will run out of things to say. The same goes for writing. Most writers learn to write finding the words, the inspiration, the direction along the way. It’s an unfolding process. Follow your thoughts and feelings as you write and you’ll do great. It really is that simple.

Lie #3: Every sentence must be perfect (which sounds like, “I stink at writing. I can never seem to get it right and would die if someone read it.”)

Nonsense. That’s just an excuse for not doing the thing you really want to do: write. Good writers always revise their work. They’d be crazy not to edit. Perfectionism comes from a belief that you’re not enough just as you are. Let me tell you a secret. You are enough simply because you were born. Writing is an expression of your unique perspective, your view on life. It’ll never be perfect, but it could be amazing.

Lie #4: You can’t write unless you have huge blocks of time. Writing, and leading a “normal life”—job, family, career is impossible (which sounds like, “I never seem to find time to do what I want. I’ll find the time to write my novel when kids are out of house.”)

That’s crazy talk and you know it. If you don’t do it now, what makes you think you’ll do it later? I scribbled these blog notes on a piece of paper while eating my breakfast this morning and typed it up waiting for my dinner to cook tonight. Total time = 20 minutes. Write when you have odd chucks of time waiting for an appointment, on the train ride home from work, while the laundry is drying, waiting for your kids in the school pick up line, or perhaps even write instead of watching TV or surfing Facebook. Now that’s a novel idea!

Lie #5: To write you must be inspired with ideas that will change the world (which sounds like, “My writing is terrible and makes no sense.”)

You don’t need your writing to change the whole world, you just need it to change one world—yours. Be inspired to change your own life and let everything else go. You’ll feel more productive, accomplished and abundant when you do. Writing about one experience and how you felt about (connecting your percpetion of the event directly with how you felt about it), for example, can be incredibly healing. You can write to improve your health; you can write to communicate with others. It’s all worth it.

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4 thoughts on “The 5 Biggest Lies Beginning Writers Like to Tell

  1. Writing can be a spiritual experience where the writer takes dictation from the Divine.
    Please sit and connect with Source and see what you are guided to share from yourself and from the Divine. May all who read this be blessed AND SO IT IS!

    1. Hello Reverend Mike,

      How true that is! Writing, also known as taking the invisible frequency of thoughts and feelings and translating them into words (in print) is one the most valuable skills we have as humans being (or as I prefer to say, spiritual beings have a physical experience). We’re so good at it, and it’s such a natural talent for us, we hardly give it a second thought. Writing a list of what to pick up at the store for dinner, penning a quick email to a dear friend, sitting quietly focused allowing a private journal entry to flow … no problem! What an immensely creative gift.

      I so appreciate the tangible spiritual experience of writing. I’m completely fascinated by how our thoughts and ideas, so uniquely and intimately ours and inspired by Source, can easily be turned into realizations, experiences, situations, circumstances and gifts to share with the world. One of my favorite phrases to play with is, “I’m so happy and gratiful now that …” and from there, create my future successes.

      Thank you, Reverend Mike, for sharing that comment. Divinely guided for sure!

  2. There is a spiritual and therapeutic element to my writing that allows me to cleanse my mind. No matter what is going on with me, I write some fresh (new) text everyday. Most days, I write following my morning meditation, and there are many times where I stop writing to have a meditative moment. Like other writers, I spend a bit of my time everyday editing my text. There are times when what I have produced is not what I want to include in a particular manuscript, but what’s fascinating is how those pieces re-surface as useful components for other manuscripts. As I look back, I have to admit that writing and publishing was not part of my plans, but it sure feels good to let the words fly from my mind.

    1. What a wonderful reflection! Thank you for taking the time and energy to post your thoughts, Dr. Ernest. I find meditation an excellent resource, too. Always available, never judging, always willing to assit with our projects. So much comes through in those quiet moments of repose. It always surprises me how easily ideas come to life when we allow them the space they need to breath … taking flight under the slightest of breeze. It’s amazing to me that even when our physical minds could not have conceived of us doing a particular activity (such as writing or publishing), our higher minds know what is ideal for our growth, exhancing our experience as creative beings. Let those words fly! Inspiration is so … what’s the right word … delightful.

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