12 Statements About Writing and Creativity We All Need to Stop Believing

“You should only write when you’re feeling inspired.”

1. “You should never tell anyone about your ideas.” You’re technically allowed to do whatever you want, I’m not your boss, but there’s no such thing as a completely original idea. All ideas are based off of other ideas.

2. “If an idea isn’t good, don’t waste your time with it.” I’m in the camp that believes no writing time is wasted time. I’ve written a dozen bad books, and learned something from every single one of them. Embrace the bad. It’s how you get better.

3. “It’s impossible to make money writing as a beginner.” Technically false. You can make money. Just not a lot of it, and probably not consistently. You have to start somewhere!

4. “You should only write when you’re feeling inspired.” In reality, the act of writing is often what inspires you to continue telling a story.

5. “Only ‘right-brained’ people can be creative.” Can we stop with this, please? Anyone can create anything they want to using the knowledge and skills at their disposal.

6. “Writing experience only counts if someone hired you for it.” Technically, almost anything can count as writing experience. I used this blog as my writing experience for my first writing job application and they hired me!

7. “You’re not a ‘real’ writer until you [X].” Nope. The only prerequisite for being a writer is that you write!

8. “If you haven’t published anything by the time you’re [X] …” Just stop there. Dreams don’t have deadlines. It doesn’t matter if you get published at 15 or 50. Take your time.

9. “Your work is pointless if you don’t ever share it.” Not true. If it makes you happy and you’re proud of it, it matters.

10. “Your work only counts once you’re successful.” Not true. All the work you put into your craft matters, whether you’ve found success in your chosen creative field or not.

11. “There is one right way to write a bestselling book” (and other variations of this idea). There is never just one way. That’s why writing is a creative activity.

12. “Succeeding as a writer/creator is mostly luck.” Luck is a major factor in many cases, yes. But hard work, making connections, goal-setting, and relentlessly going after what you want also help.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.

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