Don’t Get Fooled: The Truth Behind 5 Writing Myths
in Digital Marketing | by Hannah Farrow
With every profession come stereotypes and assumptions. Blame Hollywood, social media or town gossip, but we’ll never really know what 8-6 is like in a certain job unless we live it for ourselves. Using my magical content talents (myth), let’s debunk some common industry myths that continue to plague writers.
Oh, and if after this you realize that writing still isn’t your thing, our content marketing services are at your ready.
Myth 1: There’s one key secret to effective writing.
Ready to learn the big secret that only writers know? Well, there isn’t one. Because having one defining writing secret would be like having one key secret to oenology—if you were to figure it out, you’d be a world-class winemaker.
Like every craft, writing takes time, research, and practice to perfect. And even then, work always has room for improvement. While every writer has their own unique process—and you can learn from them—the truth is, it varies from writer to writer. Some may like to write in the comfort of their own home while sitting at the desk, in their closet, that faces the wall. Others may produce their best work at a local cafe, watching the hustle and bustle of people passing.
While writing would be easier if there was one key secret that unlocked the door to bestsellers, front page articles, and award-winning advertisements, nothing great ever comes easy. As Dan Poynter said, “If you wait for inspiration to write, you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” There’s always going to be another book to read, another author to study or another draft to write, but none is the end-all-be-all. Plus, if you’re committed to getting better at the craft of writing, you wouldn’t search for an easy out.
Myth 2: Good writers don’t need to create a rough draft.
This may be true of good writers, but it’s definitely not true of great writers. Stephen King said it best in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”
A rough draft is like a page from your diary—it’s personal and for your eyes only. Rough drafts are a great place to write down your ideas without any rhyme or reason, with the understanding that nothing is your best, final piece of work. Ideas need to be revisited and reworked.
Don’t get discouraged—you can almost always find some diamonds in the rough (draft). A useful tip that all writers can get behind is to walk away from your work for an extended period of time (be that weeks for a novel or tens of minutes for a tight deadline blog) and come back to it with fresh eyes. You’ll find that a refreshed mind adds new insight into the same topic you’ve been writing about for a while.
Myth 3: All writing comes easily to writers.
Like any profession, a writer is a writer because they enjoy the process behind the craft and the work that comes from it. But to say that writing is easy for writers is like saying practicing law is easy for lawyers.
While studying allows the craft to come more naturally and years of experience help as a backbone to reference, ease isn’t the right word. Even professional writers get writer’s block. It happens to the best of us so don’t get discouraged when it happens to you.
Myth 4: All writers are introverts.
A writer is often portrayed as the loner with their nose in a book or the wallflower furiously scribbling notes in a journal in the corner; what a beautiful stereotype to have, that we’re constantly learning and observing the world as it passes us by.
But to answer the myth, no, not all writers are introverts. What writers are are humans. Humans who like to eat and drink and travel and play sports and lay on beaches. If we do all of that with a book in one hand and a journal in the other, it may just mean we’re doing it better.
Myth 5: All writers are perfect spellers.
By nature, no. With Grammarly, yes. But we definitely don’t mess around with your/you’re and their/there. Misspelling either of those is not an April Fool’s prank to pull on us.
Let’s not confuse spelling with grammar, which is an essential part of the writing process. We’ve all seen the example: “Let’s eat Grandpa” and “Let’s eat, Grandpa!” Punctuation is key—it can change the entire meaning of a sentence. This isn’t to say that all writers have perfect grammar (we still Google for clarity), but we do work hard to make sure it’s pretty darn great.
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Ready for one statement that is true? The more you write and the more you exercise your creative mind, the quicker it becomes second nature. Give it a shot—we aren’t fooling ya there.