Heya TWNers! So this post was supposed to go live this past Friday, but somehow the last couple of days have escaped me so it’s going up now. But late or not, I am not any less excited to be featuring Natasha Joy today on Teen Writers’ Nook. If you don’t know Tasha, you’re missing out. She is an amazing friend, blogger, and Christian who I have been so blessed to have gotten to know. Several months ago, she had to leave the blogosphere, but I am SO STOKED that she is making her epic, dramatic return with a newly revamped platform and an awesome blog tour to start it off! If you want to know more, check her out here. Tasha has a lot of wise advice in store for you today with so many great tips and lots of encouragement! I absolutely loved this post and am thrilled to share it with you all!! Now, I shall let Tasha take the spotlight as she focuses on debunking writer lies!!!
You pick up that pen, hold it over the paper, and…put it down. Again.
On the inside you love to write and dream of penning ‘The End’ but on the outside you don’t know if you want to claim the title of writer. At least not if it’s more than a hobby.
You don’t want people making fun of you. It seems like it’s too much work. Someone told you there’s no chance of your book getting published.
Maybe none of these scenarios fit your situation but something is holding you back. And I’ll bet it’s one of the writer lies circling around.
Today I’m going to address five of the main lies that may be holding you back.
1. It’s All Been Said and Done Before…Better than I could Ever Do
You know, that’s kind of true but I find a lot of freedom in that. If it’s all been done before, then you don’t have to worry about you idea being similar someone else’s. Because it’s all been done. Yours is like theirs and theirs is like someone else’s.
People also like certain ideas. That’s why we often find a genre or writing style we like and stick to mainly reading that. Sometimes we venture into different writing but in the end we come back to that original genre because we like it.
Isn’t it also relieving to know that what you’re writing is tried and true? You’re taking something you know people love and putting your own spin on it to make it yours.
Take this post as an example. If you google “Writer lies” you’ll find so many posts of people giving what they think are the biggest lie and their way of defeating them but none of them are exactly the same as my post. Because we all have a brain that works differently and highlights different things.
2. I’m Too Busy to Write
If you’re anything like me, you probably spend quite a bit of time scrolling through social media, reading, or just staring off into space. And none of these things are bad; they’re just cutting into time you could be using for writing.
Having time for writing is really a priority thing…if you want to write you’ll make time for it but if you don’t want to, you won’t.
It’s like when I wanted to learn to knit. I wanted to learn but when it actually came to trying, I always found something else to do. And guess what. I still don’t knit.
3. If it’s Not Amazing Now, I Might As Well Not Even Try
Can I let you in on a little secret? It gets better. Just like with anything you do, you won’t get better without practice.
And no, your first, second, third WIPs probably aren’t going to be amazing but that’s okay. No one says you have to be amazing the first try.
I took some time to do a little research as well as reach out to some authors to see how many books they wrote before they were published. Here are some of the results I got.
It took Brandon Sanderson (the author of the Stormlight Archive, the Mistborn trilogy, and many other books) over a dozen scrap books before he got published
Joanna Ruth Meyer (They author of Echo North, Wind Daughter, and others) wrote six novels before she was published. Fun fact, her debut novel was actually the third novel she wrote…she just completely rewrote it when she decided she had enough experience.
Grace Johnson (The author of Held Captive, With Fear and Trembling, and many other books) wrote one complete novel and started many other WIPs before publishing.
Ashley Bustamante (The author of Vivid and Radiant) wrote a lot of short books when she was a kid, a novella when she was eighteen, and then from the time she started Vivid to when she got a contract, took seven years.
Here’s some advice Ashley gave me “Everyone’s journey is different. Some people get their experience writing several books before they publish their first novel. Others, like me, get their experience writing a gazillion drafts of the same book. 🙂 There’s no right or wrong way. The important part is just to keep at it and don’t be discouraged from your goals if it’s what’s really in your heart. Join writing groups to get lots of eyes on your work to figure out what might be holding you back, and be open and receptive to criticism. It’s hard to grow if you don’t know what needs improvement.”
4. I’ll Do It Later
Writing is the easiest thing not to do. If you don’t start now, you’ll probably find another excuse to stall writing down the road. In my experience, it’s better to write a little earlier and start creating those writing habits than waiting in the hopes that down the road you’ll be motivated to write a lot.
Start now and start small.
5. Being a Writer is Too Hard
Writing is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Getting that first draft out is exhausting and all the edits and redrafts are frustrating. Then if your book gets published, you’re putting yourself out there in a way most careers don’t require.
Your book sitting there for anyone to read and criticize. It can be spirit breaking.
But that’s where my advice from point four comes in.
Start small. Write those few words a day. Then, when you feel ready, find a community of writers who you can trust to give honest feedback on your work. Sometimes it will sting but it’s preparing you for rejections. Try publishing short stories and articles remembering that every rejection is preparing you for the day your book is sitting on that shelf.
Being a writer is hard and all the lies floating around certainly don’t make it easier. But don’t give up on your dreams. If you want to write, write. Proudly claim the title of writer as your own and don’t let what other people say get in your way.
You’ve got this.