On Monday, the podcast I’m part of Bound By Books talked about writing myths. I thought I’d give you my take on a few myths I’ve heard about writing.
- You MUST write x amout of words a day or you aren’t a real author. First off, any writing rule that tells you MUST do something is almost always wrong. Writing is a craft. An expression of creativity. You wouldn’t tell a painter they MUST paint with a certain canvas type or they aren’t a real artist. The same is true with writing. Some authors write everyday, sure. Some only get out words on the weekend. While still others write whenever the mood hits. The important thing is to find the method that works for you. That might mean you have to try on a few different styles to see what translates into the best results for you.
- You CAN’T read books in the genre you write in. There again, anything that tells me I can’t do something… I’m gonna want to. The reason behind this myth is that if you read books in your genre you might inadvertantly steal another story idea. Let me end the suspense for you. There are no original stories. What makes a story original is your unique take on it. More importantly to this point, if you aren’t reading in the genre of the story you are writing, how do you know that you are meeting the expectations of those readers?
- Writers make a ton of money so it’s no big deal if I download this illegal copy of a pirate site. There is so much wrong with this myth it makes my eyes cross. Unless you are a MAJOR bestseller, authors are not making near what you think they are. Trust me here. And being an author isn’t free. We have costs we incure. Editors, designers, marketing expensies, and on and on. It’s not cheap to produce a book. If you get your books from a pirate site, the author sees NONE of that royalty, which means they might not be able to pay for that editor for the next book in the series you really love. If you love books, you won’t pirate them. If you’re not able to buy them, ASK YOUR LIBRARY TO GET A COPY. It’s really that easy. And we DO get a small royalty for library purchase. Not sure if the site you’re on is a pirate site? ASK. Reach out to the author or visit their website. They’ll have the sites where they’re books are on. If you don’t see the site listed on their website, don’t use it. Period.
- If you aren’t traditionally published, you aren’t a real author. I think you all know how I feel about that as a primarily indie-published author. I call BS. There are MANY paths to publishing. One path isn’t any less valid than another. That’s true of any art form.
- If there is a typo (or more) in your published manuscript you clearly didn’t hire an editor. This is a million % wrong. You’ll find typos in even traditionally published works of huge names. Are there more typoes in an indie book over a traditionally published book? Maybe. It depends. Editors aren’t cheep. And if you are an indie author, you have to pay for that work yourself. If you’re just starting out, you might not be able to pay for a massive edit. That might be something you fix over time. It’s an individual experience. Personally, I usually have about 10 pairs of eyes on a manuscript before it sees and editor and even still… I end up finding something once it’s published. ALWAYS. Typos are like cockroaches.
What other writing myths have you heard? These were the ones at the top of my mind, but I’d love to hear about more of them!
Until next week my peeps! (Speaking of Peeps, they are in stores now! eeep!)
Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and dispeller of writing myths