Monday, November 23, 2009

Myths About Writers

Posted by Bethany at November 23, 2009
Afternoon Folks,

I thought we'd do a post to dispel some of the myths people seem to have about writers. I'll put the ones that first come to mind then y'all can chime in.

Myth: Writing is a great way to make a lot of money.

I'm not sure exactly how this one matriculated. Probably in the wake of some of the big best sellers (i.e. Stephen King, Anne Rice, Stephenie Meyer, JK Rowling, and the like) but most of the time writers put in more money for their writing than they do get out of it.

Generally a writer doesn't make a ton of money unless somehow his/her book is a blockbuster hit and blasts through what the author owes in the advance (which is paid back to publishers through royalties).

Most writers I've met and talked to are not millionaires. I'm not saying it can't happen, I'm saying it's not one of those things that's automatic.

Myth: Writing Is Easy Anybody Can Do It.

Okay, granted this isn't entirely a myth, but it's not entirely true, either. Sure, anybody with any amount of knowledge of or ability to string sentences together in a coherent form can write a story. In fact, most anyone could write if they put their minds to it. Doesn't mean it's good. Doesn't mean it will sell (heck, it doesn't even mean us aspiring authors will sell or even that established authors will continue to sell--the publishing world isn't an exact Science).

By the way...writing is sometimes easy and sometimes it's not. There are good days and bad days just like with anything else. Sometimes there's tremendous writer's block (met someone who suffered writer's block for a year) and there's days of tremendous inspiration where everything just flows. It's not always easy and it's not always hard.

Myth: I'm Not Good Enough.

This is one authors everywhere have to fight within themselves. If you don't think you're good enough how do expect anyone else will think you are? You have to have some belief in yourself. You have to believe in your characters and in your imagination.

There's people with wonderful talent out there, who freeze up at the mere mention of trying to get their work published because they don't think they're "good enough". Exactly what is the measure of an author being "good enough"?

Everybody has different tastes, you can't measure your own success by someone else's success and/or failure. (This is one I've had to remind myself of, by the way).

Myth: All Writers Lead Incredibly Exciting (Romantic, Action-Filled, Etc...,) Lives.

This might contain some truth depending on who you are (like maybe a CIA agent who writes action stories or a person who writes romance who leads an incredibly romantic life), however, it doesn't mean this is true of all writers.

I've met writers who lead very ordinary lives. They pick up their kids from school, they have jobs, or work at home. They worry about the roof being fixed, the rent being paid, the crazy hole in the backyard (okay I haven't heard of anyone having a weird hole in the backyard without an explanation, but hey, like most things, it could happen).

The point being...authors are human. They can't help it, they are. In fact, I talk about this in another post.

The point is, authors are just like you or me. They have concerns, fears, dreams, wishes, and good days and bad days.


What are some of the myths/legends you've heard of writers and why are they/aren't they true?

Have A Mysterious Monday!


Marsha Sigman on Monday, 23 November, 2009 said...

One myth is that all writers are moody...and we're not, I tell you. WE ARE NOT.
We just have a lot of

Bethany on Monday, 23 November, 2009 said...

LOL true enough, Marsha :-)

Joshua McCune on Monday, 23 November, 2009 said...

I think writing is easy -- writing well is hard -- getting published is harder -- getting paid decently is near impossible (though this is not necessarily the path some of the lucky few take).

Bethany on Tuesday, 24 November, 2009 said...


LOL you've made some good points about the writing and publishing. :-)


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