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Nine Lies Writers Tell Themselves (And How To Combat Them With Truth)

1: I am the best writer EVER!

Don't get me wrong... Every writer has those times when it all comes together. The coffee is the perfect temperature, the house is quiet, your favorite music is playing, and the words are all there.You sit down to write and the absolute best words you have ever written in your life flow out of that pen. They make your heart race. The tensions are spectacular. The prose is perfect. You really feel like you are the best writer ever... That is not a bad thing. It is great for you to be comfortable and confident in your abilities; but there is a difference in feeling like you are the best and believing it. Sooner or later, we all need to hear this hard-learned truth. There is no best. We are all apprentices in a craft for which there is no master. Everyone teaches and everyone learns. 


2: I am the WORST writer ever. 

So, maybe today wasn't the greatest... Lukewarm coffee, your phone is blowing up, chaos has found a way into your home, and the words are stuck in your head like a block of concrete. Here's the deal. Those days are going to come; it's a given. Just remember, whatever you've written, no matter how horrible you think it is, it is better than having never written anything at all. And just as those terrible days come and go, so will the wonderful days. Be patient with yourself. Writing is a challenge for anyone. Accept that you are not the best, but realize you are not the worst either.


3: I don't have potential.

Far too many writers think in terms of their "potential." Potential is having the capacity to become or develop into something in the future. In that sense, we all have potential. But that can only take you so far. Potential is potential and that does hold meaning, but only when it is acted upon and applied. This requires hard work and confidence. The question is, are you willing to make that happen?


4: I don't have anything original.

Of course not; no one does. But I think that this quote (one of my all time favorites) has it all figured out. "I think new writers are too worried that it has all been said before. Sure it has, but not by you." -Asha Dornfest. The original is you


5: It's too hard.

Writing is hard. We all know that. But it's not too hard. You say "Writing is too hard." when you likely mean "I am too lazy." or even "I am not a writer." Harsh statements, but truthful nonetheless.


6: All I need is talent. 

You can ask any successful person in life...Yes, a natural talent will take you places; you can go further with it than you think! But, that said, it can only take you so far. There are other parts to success... Crafting your skills, learning, determination, and attitude. You wouldn't want a doctor to operate on your brain based merely on his "talent" for surgeries. You want to know that he has the proper skills and training to back him, that he will follow through once he has started, and and that he is confident in his abilities. 


7: I know it all.

The writing world is growing and evolving. Not to mention, all writers work differently, so the same things that work for one writer don't work for another. And, despite what some people seem to think, there is a lot to know about writing! In all honesty, no matter how hard you try, you can never really have all the knowledge. Find a few seasoned pros and really listen to what they have to say; But seasoned pros (remember this for when you are one of them) sometimes have a thing or two to learn from the ametuers. 


8: I don't have time

If you really love something, you are going to make time for it. Of course, life does get in the way. It happens; that is its nature. But there is always time. If you really love writing, you will do what it takes to make the time. Do you really need to watch that tenth episode of the show you love? Is the extra twenty minutes you spent scrolling through social media really necessary? 


9: I'll write once the inspiration hits me...

Let's get one thing straight. Inspiration doesn't hit you; you hit it. When I was younger, my father always said "if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten." You want to be inspired? Do something different. As Jack London said. "...go after it with a club." Don't wait for it. 



I hope you found this helpful and fun! Thank you so much for taking a peek! 
     I love hearing from you! Don't hesitate to comment below if there is any particular subject you would like me to address in my next post. What are some lies you've told yourself? How did you combat them?
     Thanks for the read! 


     Meredith Cole


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1 comment

  • Very nice summary! And things to keep reminding myself as I continue my journey into the writing profession. Thank you for posting this!

    JD Hart

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