Shake the Stereotypes
What is your most comfortable form of creative expression?
Is there something you believe about your creative form that might be holding you back from full expression in that art form?
I’d like to address some myths about writers that used to hold me back a bit in my writing. Here we go:
Writers are introverts: That is NOT me. I prefer to be around people. I recognize the need for solitude but I love to around people. If I didn’t love words so much I wouldn’t have chosen this to be my expressive modality, but it totally is! I just would rather be able to be around people writing! Due to my extroverted nature and my people-pleasing tendencies I have a hard time saying “no”, which can have a negative impact on the writing process. My writing time does suffer at times.2.
Writing is a solitary job: Some people can put their earbuds in and sit in front of a movie with their family on the couch and write, but that is not me. I have to be alone to write. I can edit or design when I’m around others. If it’s something that’s functional I can do that in the presence of others but if it’s strictly creative, such as writing, I cannot be around others. The ways that writing is NOT a solitary job is that it takes a number of people on my team that help me make a book. I have beta readers, editors, cover/interior designers and etc who help me put together the products you see on Amazon.
To be successful you must write every day: I struggled with this one as well. If we’re talking writing into a WIP then I don’t write every day. If we are talking about jotting down ideas or dictating a conversation between two characters, then, okay, I do write every day. I’m a much better batch writer than a consistent daily writer. To be successful you must write consistently, not necessarily daily!
To be a good writer you must read a lot: The struggle here is my love-hate relationship with reading throughout my life. When I was younger I loved a few books and would read and re-read them. If the belief is “to be a good writer you must read a wide variety” then, on and off throughout my life, that has not been the case. There have been times throughout my life that I have enjoyed reading and other times where I have thought, “let me just write you a story instead of making me read someone else’s story.” There’s also the argument of whether or not audiobooks count as “reading”. I enjoy audiobooks these days-something you can do on the go. They do not replace having the physical book in my hands and seeing the words on the page! As long as you’re reading and learning and loving words, that is your path to becoming a strong writer!
“Starving artist” idealogy: This is a myth! First of all, your creativity, your art does not need to be relegated to a “hobby”, it can be more than a hobby! Secondly, it’s okay for you to say that you want to/hope to make money from your creative work! Saying so helps you to move out of that “starving artist” mentality. It shifts your mindset and allows you to move forward toward practicing your creative art and shows the value of your work. If you struggle with finding proof that this is possible please take a listen to any or all of the following:
The Creative Penn with Joanna Penn, Self-Publishing School with Chandler Bolt, or Self-Publishing Show with Mark Dawson.
If you have any other thoughts or struggles that you’d like to share regarding your creative expression please feel free to message me here on the website. I’d love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by, friends!