WRITING: MYTHS vs REALITY

WRITING: MYTHS VS REALITY

How old were you when you discovered that Julius Ceasar was born by a caesarian section? Did I hear you say, today years old?

Well, if you didn’t know that before, at least, you know that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space. Or, you don’t know that too?

If you didn’t know these facts prior to this time, you have little or nothing to worry about, but if you knew them before now, you sure have a lot to worry about. The two facts are nothing but MYTHS!

But, I bet you were wowed for a minute, or maybe two, or even sixty. Well, those statements are not only false but widely believed too, hence, they qualify to be termed as ‘MYTHS’.

Myths are widely held but false beliefs or idea. There are several ideas and beliefs that we hold in high regard and they mostly inform our decisions- in fact, life decisions. At a very tender age, our parents or older ones shared mythical stories for several reasons- to instil fear or morals. Whatever their motives were, we grew up having them as strong pillars of our belief systems and schools of thoughts.

In different regions of the world, myths are woven into the people’s cultural beliefs, many of which were relayed via moonlight or bed time stories. Also, there are numerous mythologies about diverse fields of life- medicine, law, technology, finance.

Literature, just like every other field, has its mythologies and you will be surprised at how much it has come to influence its world. What is more shocking is the caliber, so to say, of the people who believe in these myths. You will be surprised that even writers hold some myths about writing and build their writing career on this pseudo-foundation.

So, what should we do to these masks that are shielding us from seeing the light of reality? What should we do to myths? We should discredit them!

Below are five myths about writing and I will be revealing the reality. Come along!

WRITING IS A TALENT, NOT A SKILL THAT CAN BE LEARNT

Many are of the opinion that writers are born, not made. But the fact is, writing like every other skill can be learnt and honed. There are several people who really just loved the idea of writing and took interest in it; with a dish of hard work sprinkled with consistency and thorough studying, they became expert writers.

Also, as much as we appreciate talents and cannot overrule the fact that some people are born with the innate ability of creative writing; but writing, like every other talent, if not discovered and developed, it could go into extinct. Like the biblical parable of talents, a talent not developed will not multiply, thus, it’s almost like it was not there in the first place.

In essence, if you are yet to kick start your writing career because you feel you are untalented, it is high time you snapped out of it.

WRITING IS EASY

If spending long hours stuck on a chair, trying to study the best concepts and styles for your writing is not herculean, then writing is easy. If you enjoy writing pages of articles or stories but end up throwing them in the trash can, then I agree that writing is easy.

If criticisms don’t bother you, for sure, writing is easy. If you can easily describe a market scene without thinking, thinking harder and erasing lines till you get the ‘perfect’ description, then writing is definitely easy.

The preceding paragraphs are not to scare you away from the business of writing, they simply make efforts to highlight few of the many challenges writers have to contend with.

Like every other skill or occupation, writing has its own tough sides. Writing is more of a mental activity than a physical one. A lot of cognitive exercise goes into writing. An article by time.com, affirms that no part of the body demands more energy than the brain, hence, we burn more calories while engaging in a cognitive task. Thus, if we consider how much brain work a writer does, it will only be fair to say a writer expends more energy than a manual worker.

Therefore, if you feel choosing a writing career is an easy way out of hard work, then, the joke is on you because writing is not just a business, it is a serious one.

WRITERS ARE ANTI-SOCIAL; THEY ARE INTROVERTS

Judging by the nature of writers which requires being confined in a space for a particular time while knitting beautiful words together, it is very easy to assume that writers prefer being alone.

Ironically, a good writer enjoys going out, meeting people (who are potential characters for their new stories…lol), observing nature, and engaging in conversations. This is because writers get ideas from all of these and weave whatever they’ve gotten into their literary pieces. You think those exotic stories and mind-blowing write-ups were gotten from the air?

Although, writers are usually not the loudest in a room, except it’s a room filled with their species. And you most likely won’t find them talking everywhere, the reason is not to be farfetched- they do more of listening than speaking.

You really do have to trust me on this- the best company you can have is the company of a writer. They have a multifaceted bank of knowledge containing diverse and numerous bits of information tapped from studying. All you have to do is start a conversation that interests them and watch them rap till infinity.

But hey, I need to warn you about something- Watch what you say around a writer, because what you say may be the title or theme of their next book.

WRITERS DEVELOP STORIES VERY FAST

Writers do what they are made to do- write, not magic!

There are many people out there who think it takes a very short time to write a story and writers do just that in a twinkle of an eye. That school of thought does no justice to the several hours of tedious work that actually goes into birthing a great story.

I love to relate the process of writing to pregnancy. First, the conception. A writer, like a mother, has to conceive an idea upon which the story will be built. After getting an idea, then, the theme analysis comes up, closely followed by choosing a style, setting, developing a plot, and of course, the characterization.

Every of these steps demands a level of rigor and high intelligence quotient. No one wants the tag that comes with developing a shoddy story. Thus, it takes some time to come up with a story worth a reader’s time.

DRUM ROLLS! This last one really cracks me up…

WRITERS ARE BROKE

If you are a writer and you have ever introduced yourself as one, can you remember the expressions on the faces of the people you told?

For many writers, one big challenge they have been faced with is- convincing their family and friends that they can build wealth off writing. And most certainly, it’s never an easy task.

Who on planet earth would choose a career in writing over building a career in other ‘high paying’ jobs like law, medicine, engineering, accounting and the host of others?

The root of this could be traced to the fact that writers are considered to be either novelists or literature teachers. If you bear that notion, I am not sorry to burst your bubbles, but in our fast-evolving world, writing is not just restricted to novels.

The art of creative writing has become the core of many other fields, especially as the basic tool of content creation which is fundamental to digital marketing, copy writing et al. So, a very hardworking, skilled and intelligent writer could set the stacks of money rolling in by simply tapping into spaces where the need for writers is inevitable.

Plus, who even said novelists are broke? You really don’t want to know how much wealth a beautiful piece of writing could earn you. If you are a curious cat, you might want to check how much wealth J.K Rowling has built from writing a single book- Harry Potter.

On that mouthwatering note, the next time you want to hold back on launching your writing career because of something you heard, you should take the extra step of confirming. You just might have been standing in your own way of unlocking that great potential.

And hey, the next time you meet a writer, you should take off your hat and give a bow in apology for holding such unjust and ugly myths against them.

SALUT!

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