It’s great to be a writer – most days. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get a lot of assumptions about what that means exactly. Here are a few misconceptions I’ve found in being a writer.
1. You have to write every day to be a writer
This is simply not true. I often find myself saying that I want to “be a writer” but the truth is, I already am one. Just because I haven’t written a best-selling series or had a book turned into a movie doesn’t mean that I’m not a writer. I also don’t write every day. Life gets in the way and there are days when I just don’t want to write. You don’t have to write every day to improve either. You will improve over time, whether it’s every day or not.
2. Writing is easy; anyone can be a writer
First thing, ask anyone who writes and they’ll tell you it is far from easy. Secondly, while it is true that anyone can write, not everyone can, or wants, to be a writer. Writing takes time, dedication, growth, and lots of frustration to achieve.
3. Getting published is easy
Far from it. Anytime I tell anyone that I write novels, they immediately ask if I’ve been published and where they can buy the books. I’ve self-published, but they always expect I’ll say Penguin or something similar. It is not as easy as sending off your manuscript and expecting a letter of acceptance back in a few weeks. There are so many unread, published books out there already and editors and agents are picky because they can be.
4. You get to sit around in your PJs all day
Most of us have day jobs, so unfortunately, that’s not really an option. Writing gets done on weekends, or week days if we’re not too tired.
5. Writing is easy money
Hah, I wish. I’m lucky to get enough royalties to pay for my printer ink. Even if you do freelance work, it’s often not the kind of writing you’d like to do (lots of sales copy, repetitive articles that pay pennies on the dollar). For a while, I was working full-time as a freelance writer, and though I did make enough to cover my monthly bills, I rarely made much over that and there were close-call months that made me reconsider traditional jobs.