I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: writing is tough to get right. There are many elements to the craft, from style to tone of voice and everything in between.
But it’s a passionate affair.
One that, if done well, will help you not only understand the outside world, but within yourself, too.
Many people fail to fulfill their writing needs, however. Whether it’s apathy or fear I don’t know. But, if you’re just starting out, fear not. For the craft is not necessarily as arduous as you’ve been told.
In fact, it’s rather rewarding. Here are three common misconceptions about writing, and why you need to pick up a pen and get to it, right now.
1. Writing must always be original
Pablo Picasso once said,
Good artists copy, great artists steal.
Writing doesn’t have to be completely original. Sure, it does require massive amounts of your own input and creativity, but themes, plots and stories are templated, and copying these templates is no such crime.
Margaret Atwood was tasked to re-write Shakespeare’s Tempest with a newand innovative twist. And she nailed it.
Many people turn to transcribing famous poems so that they can truly understand them.
Writing doesn’t always have to be original. Fact.
2. Writers are always clear with what they’re saying
Kerouac’s On The Road is a shamble of story. It’s fast paced, spontaneous, and lacks a clear narrative. Yet, it remains one of the most influential pieces of American literature.
I’m not certain, but I’m pretty sure that in his drug-fuelled efforts, Kerouac didn’t have a plan in place. He just typed, and typed fast.
To write, then, you don’t need to know what you want to say. Assuming you have a theme or point in mind, you should take the time to adopt free writing tactics. This is a surefire way to better your skills.
3. Writing is difficult
No, it really isn’t.
It might require a certain level of conscious thought (which can be draining), but it’s not difficult to do.
I think the real point behind this argument is that writing is difficult to start. This is true. Intimidation stops any writer from beginning their story, but that’s a mountain you need to overcome.
As put by Hemingway,
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.