3 Lies Writers Tell Ourselves

Time to tell the truth…

Liar, Liar, pants on fire!

3 Lies Writers Tell Themselves

1. I don’t care what anyone thinks of my writing

If this were true, you would never, ever share your work. It would stay locked up in a drawer somewhere, hidden from all the world. Or better yet, you would destroy each thing after you had written it because you would never want it to fall into someone else’s hands. We all write for someone else, even if that someone else is an ideal reader who lives in our heads. We are still thinking how that reader would react, what he or she would think about a certain sentence, a particular passage, a specific character. We may write our first draft for ourselves, but anything after that, we have an audience in mind.  And, we CARE what that audience thinks.

2. Writing is fun

There’s a word for you if writing is “fun” – and it’s a bad one. Brainstorming may be fun; drafting may be fun; editing, okay, if that’s your thing; revision – again, we all hear different drummers sometimes. But, if you think the whole writing process, the whole journey of taking a seed that’s been planted in your brain from seedling to fruition, through the struggles to produce your best work, to ensure you have something to say in the best way YOU can say it, if all that is fun, then yes, I am saying that there are some bad words that apply to you.

3. Writing is my hobby

No it isn’t. Not really. Doodling is a hobby. Hiking, perusing Pinterest, bird watching – those things can be hobbies. But writing, if you really are writing, that’s not a hobby. It’s in you. It drives you. If you never sell a book, if you never get a positive review, you will still write. If you think every single word that comes from your brain to the blank page is drivel, you will still write. That’s not a hobby. That’s an obsession.


About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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13 Responses to 3 Lies Writers Tell Ourselves

  1. Roger says:

    I’m a big boy and I can take it. You’d better hit me with the bad words. For me writing is fun. Editing sucks and proofing sucks even more, but writing is what I live for. I know, I should get out a bit more often.

  2. Juli Hoffman says:

    I think writing is fun as well! Crap! Guess I need to be hit with the bad words. 😉 Editing your own words…not so much. Editing other people’s words, that’s easier. But as a whole…I enjoy writing. If it stopped being fun, then I’d stop doing it.

  3. Heh, well, sometimes writing is fun – when it is flowing, when you’re characters are cooperating, when things are moving and then… like right now while they are staring at each other and I am procrastinating rather than trying to stab them into submission… yeah… not so much :p But really, there is a sick kind of joy even in the unfunfess of it. i think it is my masochistic side….

  4. DM Yates says:

    I do love writing the story and find it most enjoyable, but I really don’t like the editing and correcting, etc. I agree with these three statements from your point of view.

  5. I like the points you make. All true. Writing an obsession? Definitely! 🙂

  6. Lisa Olsen says:

    I’m with you except for the fun part. I love writing! All parts of the creative process from start to finish including the editing (though maybe that’s because I have someone to do my final proofreading for me). What I don’t love are the marketing bits. If I could just kick back and write all the time, I’d be a much happier camper.

  7. Pingback: A Tendency to Obsess… | Wrestling the Muse

  8. Pingback: A Tendency to Obsess… | Kim Koning

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