Myths About Writing You Need to Stop Believing

These just aren’t (always) true.

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1. You need years of experience to become a freelance writer.

2. A blog can’t help you get a real writing job.

3. It’s possible to write a good book on the first try.

4. It’s possible to write a perfect book, ever.

5. You have to have an agent to succeed and make money as a writer.

6. Self-publishing doesn’t count as a real publishing credit.

7. Writers struggle financially throughout the entire span of their careers.

8. If you write, your audience will discover you instantly.

9. Your ideas aren’t unique or special enough.

10. You can’t write that book/article/script because someone else has already written something similar.

11. Your family and friends will always be your biggest supporters.

12. Self-promotion is frowned upon online.

13. As long as you’re good at marketing, you can sell anything you write and it will be well-received.

14. You have to do everything yourself — including designing your own book covers, website, and more.

15. You have to write every day, or you’ll never make it.

16. You shouldn’t apply for writing jobs that seem “too big.”

17. The writing process is a total solitary experience — no one is involved but you.

18. Every aspiring writer should join a critique group, taking writing classes, and get a writing-specific degree.

19. Agents, editors, publishers, and potential employers only want to hear about what you’ve already done.

20. One successful writer’s expert advice is law.

21. Your opinions and ideas don’t matter because you’re not “successful enough” to matter yet.

22. Slow progress means you’re doing something wrong.

23. Bad writing is a waste of time.

24. It’s too late/You’re too old/You’re too young/You’re not ready.

25. Others’ opinions of and responses to your work are the most important thing in the world.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.


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11 thoughts on “Myths About Writing You Need to Stop Believing

  1. THANKS- especially for number 15. 90% of my ‘writing’ is stories in my head while I’m driving the kids to school or washing dishes lol. Getting things on paper every day…not happening.

    1. I totally get that. If it’s in your head, you’re still THINKING about it, and hopefully plan on writing something down eventually based on what you’ve made up in your head. All ideas start out that way. Sometimes you just can’t get something down right away. Nothing wrong with that!

      1. Yes, eventually is the word! (The kids have to sleep sometime, right? I hope??? :)) The novel I’ve actually completed I essentially ‘wrote’ while doing dishes!

  2. Hello and thanks for the post. I feel like this is a list of future blog posts. Each item merits it’s own rich discussion, don’t you think? Number six struck me in particular. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched people pinch their faces into expressions of disdain and disapproval at the mere mention of self-publishing. From my experience, the stigma and negative opinions of self-publishing is still very much a thing out there. I haven’t published anything in any form, but I continue to be wary of going to self-publishing route because of how folks respond to the idea. I may as well mention eating dog poop as a thing I’m considering.

    1. Publishing is publishing – a writer writes a thing and publishes it, that’s a huge deal!! I will never understand why people seem to have such a problem with it.

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