The Misconception Every Beginning (and Experienced) Writer Needs to Know About

Sometimes, I think that there are a number of misconceptions about writing and the career of being a writer. I’ve talked about one of them before, in my very first post. Today, I’d like to talk about another, one that causes a lot of beginning writers with a lot of potential to give up on the hope of ever publishing anything.

This misconception is that writing should be pretty easy, especially if you have a good idea and you know how to write well. Now, anyone who’s been writing for an extended amount of time would immediately know this is not the case. Writing is most definitely not easy. There’s a reason this is a view of many people, but I’ll get into that in a bit. First, let me show you why it has such a large and negative impact on beginning writers.

Picture yourself as a young writer. You’ve always loved reading, and you’ve thought about writing before, but today’s the day when you actually sat down and did something. You’re so excited that you can feel that vibrant emotion bubbling up inside of you, and all you want to do is sit down with a pencil or a keyboard and write everything out, right here and now. The idea you came up with last night while you were lying in bed is one you know is best-seller material. Now all you have to do is write it, and then you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful writer.

This is a significant moment for two main reasons. The first is that this is your first step into trying to become a writer. This marks the beginning of what could possibly be a long, impactful career. The second, however, is that in this moment, you have set yourself up for disappointment, and possibly failure.
Your idea was a good one. The excitement is a good emotion. The problem? You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. You are going into this writing thing with no idea as to how difficult it really is, with the expectations that everything will turn out exactly as you have it in your head, and all you have to do is write, and it’ll be perfect.

I’m not saying you will fail because of this, just to be clear here, However, if this young writer is you, then in the future you may be finding yourself lost, confused, and frustrated, because all of a sudden you find yourself unable to keep pouring out those words, and things have become choppy and unsatisfying. You may then find yourself full of doubt, as to whether or not this was a good idea to begin with. It seemed so easy at first, but now it’s become so hard. I think this is the moment when many beginning writers begin the slow process of giving up. In their mind, they think that because it’s become really hard, and because every word is not coming out how they want to, they are not a good writer.
Some may try to keep going, but every time they look back, all of a sudden that warm, excited feeling that was there the first few days or even weeks is gone. All that’s left is frustration, because they don’t know what’s wrong. Eventually, many will give up and decide that writing just isn’t for them, as much as they loved it at first.

This shouldn’t be the end. Many of those beginning writers would’ve someday completed amazing stories and books, if only they had someone to point them in the right direction. If someone had just sat them down at the beginning and said “This will be harder than you think, but it is possible, and if you see it through it’ll all be worth it”, then who knows what might have happened. Maybe their book would have just been lost amongst so many others, like they thought, or maybe it would have changed the world.

It’s not just beginning writers, either. Even those who have been writing for quite a while, and those who set out knowing this wasn’t going to be easy, can still feel this way.
This is one of the number one reasons why we need community as writers. We all have bad days, when we suddenly find ourselves questioning everything, whether it’s scenes, characters, or even the plot itself. We need other writers around us to be there, and remind us that bad days are okay. Bad days are kind of necessary, actually, but we have to find the strength to push past them and keep writing.

Unfortunately, many young writers don’t know how to find that kind of community, if they even know such a thing exists. Instead, the only advice they are offered is from the world-the very thing that gave them that misconception in the first place.
That’s right. Most of our misconceptions about writing (or anything, really) are handed to us by society. In this case, I think a part of the issue in this case is that they make writing seem so much easier than it actually is. The world seems to think that anyone can write a book, and while that is technically true, it does not mean it is easy to do so, as many people then assume.

So what do we do about it? Obviously there is a solution to everything, and this is no exception. For starters, it’s important for us as somewhat experienced writers to pass the message along. We need to remember that this misconception is false, so that not only do we remember persevere when things get tough, but also so that we can remind those around us of this fact.

Community is a massively important part of writing, and this is a part of it. We all know from experience how hard it is to push past that first case of writer’s block, that first feeling of disappointment, and that first thought of doubt. We know what it’s like, and I know for myself that having someone who had already gone through that beside me, encouraging me to keep going, would’ve made such a difference.
There were a few times when I almost quit, when I almost gave up on my dream and decided that I’d misunderstood what I was supposed to be doing. I almost ended up like so many other beginning writers, and so I’m determined to make sure others don’t as well.

So if you are a beginning writer, just starting out and now starting to realize that hang on, this is harder than I thought, don’t worry. One bad day does not make a bad writer. If that was the case, nothing would ever be published. Trust me on this one. Every writer, whether they’re halfway through their first draft or have published over a dozen novels, has felt exactly what you’re feeling now. We’ve all been there, but the only thing that matters is whether or not you pick yourself up and keep pushing ahead.
Like I said, one bad day doesn’t make a bad writer, so long as that bad day is not your last. All you’ve got to do is keep picking up that pencil, keep sitting down at that keyboard, and eventually you will get through it, and you will finish.
And, let me tell you something here: that is the most rewarding feeling a writer can have, and it makes every bit of frustration and stress worth it.

So, in conclusion, yes, writing is hard.
Some days it is insanely, horrendously, and mind-numbingly hard.
Some days,  it even feels completely, totally, and utterly impossible.

But that’s okay.

Because we’re writers, and we’re all about the impossible.


Until Next Time, Your Sister in Writing and Christ, 

~Arella Noreen

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