4 Common Misconceptions About Writing

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.

5 Harsh Truths About Being an Indie Author

Deciding to become an author has been one of the greatest choices in my life, and I’m sure a lot of other independent authors feel the same way about their careers. However, while being an author has its rewards, it’s not going to be a fun ride 100% of the time. In fact, there are many obstacles that you will have to deal with if you join the author game. Here are just a few of the harsh truths about being an indie author.

1. You Probably Won’t Become Rich

There are some independent authors out there who managed to strike gold and become rich and famous, such as E.L. James or Andy Weir. There are even more independent authors who aren’t rich but have done very well for themselves and can completely live off their ventures. But in truth, a majority of self-published and independent authors are not very wealthy.

If you’re self-publishing books and hoping to become the next Stephen King or Colleen Hoover overnight, you’re going to be disappointed. That’s not to say that you won’t become financially secure from your writing, but you should have realistic expectations.

2. Not Everyone Is Going To Enjoy Your Work

Head on over to Amazon and look at some of the most popular books that are selling right now. Now take a look at the 1-star reviews. Not even those books can escape poor reception. Entertainment and taste are subjective, and no matter what you write, you cannot expect every single person to enjoy it.

You need a thick skin to be an author who plans to put their work out there, especially nowadays when the Internet has given everyone a voice, and some people will use that voice to spread negativity more than positivity.

3. You May Get Sick Of Your Own Writing

Many authors write the stories that they want to read. When you write, you have the choice to create a world exactly how you see fit. No matter how exciting a book premise is, you might get sick of your own writing after a while.

Just imagine your favorite movie and being forced to watch it over and over and over again. I can’t even re-read my own books after I’ve published them because I’ve already heard the story many times.

4. Not All Fellow Authors Are Nice

I’m very lucky in the fact that 99% of the independent authors I’ve met are extremely friendly and supportive. Unfortunately, there is still that small percentage of authors out there who aren’t as nice. These authors seem to see others as competition and will refuse to give you so much as the time of day.

I’ve spoken with fellow authors who tell me stories about how they’ve gotten the cold shoulder so many times that they’ve considered leaving the author world. I’ve also been part of Facebook groups where authors (some of which are very successful in their endeavors) are some of the rudest people you would ever meet and can’t even answer a question without giving you an attitude.

5. Not Everyone Will Support You

When I first published a book back in 2011, a lot of people were happy for me. A few bought copies of the book to show their support. And then there were a couple of people (mostly former coworkers) who mocked me. There was an incident of someone actually editing one of my covers with an inappropriate image and sharing it on their Facebook as a mean-spirited joke.

There are going to be people who won’t take your work seriously, and there will be people who will go the extra mile just to make you feel bad. I don’t have much advice besides ignoring it. Going back to my earlier point: you can’t please everyone. Fortunately, many of the “haters” who go out of their way to mock your career are typically insecure and jealous, so you can relish in that fact and use it as fuel to continue your work.

It’s Been Done Before: Being Original When Writing

First off: my apologies for taking so long to pen a new writing post. I’m pretty embarrassed about waiting almost four months to write again. To be honest, it’s been a hectic couple of months. I’ve been tied up with the new job, I’ve finally published the sequel to Dodger’s Doorway, Return to Storyworld, and I’m moving into a new apartment tomorrow. It’s a crazy time for me. But that’s not much of an excuse. I set up this blog to help out fellow writers who needed advice, and although only a small handful of people actually read these posts, I still think it’s my duty¬†to maintain a steady stream of blog posts. Now that my life has somewhat calmed down, I’m ready to kick off the New Year with a fresh batch¬†of advice!

This week, we’re discussing a heavy topic that hits close to home for me: originality in writing.

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Making Time for Writing

If you’re reading this blog, you’re most likely a writer, or you wish to become one. If you’re not a writer yet, what’s stopping you? Do you not know what to write about? Do you think your writing is bad? Do you lack the patience to sit down and churn out words? Whatever the reason, there’s usually an easy solution. But there’s one particular writing issue that isn’t that simple to resolve: lack of time.

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Book Marketing 101

I’m going to be honest with you: no matter how great your book is, it won’t mean jack if you don’t know how to market it. You could literally write the next Great American Novel on par with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or The Catcher in the Rye, and it could end up gathering dust on the library shelves for years to come. In the world of authorship, writing is only half the battle. The real work is getting your book into the hands of readers. But how do you master the art of book marketing?

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How a Negative Book Review Can Be a Good Thing

“…poorly written, reads like a first draft of Mary Sue fanfiction where the author inserted himself into the main character to get back at all the bullies in his life…”

What you’ve just read was an actual review for my book, “Dodger’s Doorway”. Seems harsh, right? How can someone be so brash and blunt when reviewing an independent author’s first piece of work? I mean, give us a break, right? We’re out here putting our sweat and blood into our writing; the least you could do is cut us some slack when reviewing our books.

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