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If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “I want to write, but I heard [common misconception about writing],” then I’d be a rich man. It’s a shame that there are so many people out there who won’t take that step toward becoming a writer because they believe something they heard from a friend of a friend that turned out to be untrue. At the same time, there are people who believe certain misconceptions that make writing sound so simple that they could easily master it. They eventually give up when they realize the shocking truth.

That’s why I’m here to clear up any confusion by breaking down the four most common misconceptions about writing, and sharing the truth behind them.

1. Misconception: Writing Is Very Difficult

Truth: There are people out there who are afraid to start writing because it’s too difficult. While it’s not exactly easy to write quality material on a consistent basis, it shouldn’t be viewed as some impossible feat. I always say this, but writing is like working out: the more you do it, the better you become at it. If you write a little bit each day, even if it’s just a paragraph or two, you’re improving your craft, and it will become much less difficult as time goes on.

2. Misconception: Everything Good Has Been Written Already

Truth: We live in a glorious time for entertainment. There are countless books, movies, television shows, etc. that cover unique material. This may be excellent for viewers, but some emerging writers may find it frustrating since they believe all the good stories have been taken. The truth is that there are countless ways to spin a story. Take a look at one of the most successful movies of all time: Avatar. Did you know that it’s plot is extremely similar to a previous film called Dances with Wolves? You should always strive to write something original, but if you find out that you’re idea is similar to something that’s already been created, don’t toss it in the garbage. Find a way to weave it into your own version.

3. Misconception: Writing Will Make You Rich

Truth: I’ve talked about this topic before, but I want to continue to stress the point: it’s tough becoming a rich and prosperous author right out the gate. If you decide one day that you’re going to write a best-selling novel and quit your full-time job to pursue that endeavor, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. It takes a lot of hard work, plenty of time, and some good luck to turn your writing into a full-time gig that will pay the bills.

4. Misconception: You Need To Use Big, Fancy Words

Truth: Out of all the misconceptions I frequently hear, this one irritates me the most. When I was in college, I had to peer-edit a lot of essays where the writer tried to use as many long words as they could because they wanted to hit that page limit or they thought it would impress the professor.

If you want to use longer words, then write to your heart’s content. But don’t think that in order to be a good writer, you need to have a thesaurus propped open next to your laptop and that you can’t use words with less than five letters. In most cases, brevity is key.