What are your misguided ideas about writers?

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post focussing on misguided ideas about writers…

Do you imagine successful writers to be fabulously wealthy? Or perhaps you see them as people who never let writing take a backseat to anything else in their lives. Or maybe you believe they all reliably produce at least 750 words every single day.

Whatever your fantasies, do I need to tell you that they are probably wrong? Writer K.M. Weiland has written a terrific post on this subject under the headline, “7 Misconceptions About Being a Writer.”

Here is how she begins:

Like any good story, the writing life is a tale of deceptive depth. At first glance, it offers up a shiny, artsy, fun cover. Become a Writer! its title beckons, and its first chapters lure us in by fulfilling all these initial promises. But the deeper we get, the further we go, the more we realize there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

And here are the seven misconceptions she identifies:

  1. Writing Doesn’t Count Until You’re a “Real” Writer
  2.  There’s a Magic Daily Word Count That Proves You’re Disciplined
  3. The Rest of Your Life Must Never Take a Backseat to Your Writing
  4. The Writing Life Follows a Set Roadmap
  5. Writers Are Wiser Than Everyone Else
  6. Either Writing Is Glamorous or Writing Is for Lazy Bums
  7. Writing Is Very Serious Stuff

Read her entire piece to learn why all these ideas are so misguided.

In fact, writing is like just about everything else in life: Different people do it differently. Some aspects  of writing are fun and joyful, other parts are hard work — like moving bricks. Some people may be able to write 2500 words per day while others will struggle to produce 250.

There is no magic formula. No single way of writing. Don’t let misguided ideas about writers stop you from writing yourself.

An earlier version of this post first appeared on my blog on Sept. 14/20

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