by Cátia Isabel Silva (originally posted on ryanlanz.com)
As with any other profession, you will face many opinions from different people when it comes to writing, who may, most of the time, have no idea what they’re talking about. Let’s talk about the 6 most common myths you’ll hear about writing.
1. Talent does everything
You’ll hear this from those people who say “oh you’re amazing, you’re gonna do it” and from the other side, those who say “Hmmm, you’re not good enough…”. It doesn’t matter who tells you this: it’s wrong.
What makes a writer isn’t the talent, but the commitment. No one was born a great writer, you need persistence and hard work.
2. You have to be lucky
You might not think of it like that, but people will tell you this just so you can have a good excuse for failure. Don’t listen to them. Luck is good indeed, but what is it exactly? What you really need is to be positive and persistent!
Resist your fears, your insecurities and just keep on writing, your opportunity will come.
3. You need to live for it
Don’t quit your job yet, nor neglect your family! You don’t necessarily need to do that, nor would I recommend it. Your family, your peace of mind, these things are important too and a good safety net for any unfortunate moments helps stave off any worries when it comes to the moments where you should be writing.
Writing is in itself a habit, you must fit it into your routine and do it every day, even if you may only get 5 or 10 minutes to do it. It’s worth it.
4. Description is boring
We spend an entire afternoon writing the perfect description of a scene and someone tells us that it’s not important and it is boring. Let me tell you: it’s not if you did it the right way.
The descriptions are what make us imagine and feel as though we were inside the story, and without them, these stories would seem empty. However, enough is enough, so don’t give your readers big chunks of information all at once. Place your descriptions naturally inside your scenes and let them flow, without lingering on for way too long. You’ll see that this works wonders.
5. You must describe meticulously each and every character when you introduce them
This is something you might feel is true, especially if you’re a beginner, but it couldn’t be farther from it. Actually, the best way to describe a character, while keeping your reader curious and interested in your story, is to do it gradually, letting them get a feel for things and construct their own thoughts and theories, as they are getting to really know it, page by page.
Giving insight into their personality via their actions, instead of writing it down directly, might also be a very interesting way to get your readers to know your character on a deeper level whilst keeping them interested in how the story is unfolding.
6. The beginning
In order to be a writer, you must start! Not tomorrow, today. Right now. Do not wait for your kids to grow, or for you to get to retirement to write that novel you’ve always wanted. Writing is a long and arduous process, so begin right now. And have some fun!
Guest post contributed by Cátia Isabel Silva. Catia is a Portugal native who works in the school system. In 2010, she wrote New World as her debut novel.