When I first began my writing journey less than two years ago, I harbored a few crazy, off-center beliefs that have since been dispelled. Let’s just say my eyes have been opened and my illusions shattered. Please don’t judge me when you read my list of crazy writing beliefs. I was young then—only thirty-eight. It was a simpler time. Now, I’m older, wiser, and meaner. In an attempt to spread some joy (and give you an opportunity to laugh at me), I will share my crazy writing beliefs with you.
Crazy Writing Belief #1 The hardest part of the writing journey is completing your novel. The rest is easy.
After I finished my first book, I thought the rest would be easy. A quick editing pass, throw a query together, snag an agent, and wait for the money to roll in. Those of you who have not written a book are probably thinking, “So, that’s not how that works?” No. It isn’t. If it did, I wouldn’t still be staggering off to the day job. And, I wouldn’t still be wearing five-year old Crocs with no tread and looking like a homeless person. Unless your name is Stephenie Meyer and you’ve written a book about sparkly vamps, the road to publication is much more difficult than tossing some words on a page.
Crazy Writing Belief #2 You can fix all your errors with one editing pass.
This notion was dispelled after the first editing pass. After the thirteenth edit, I decided I was borderline illiterate. There are probably still errors. I can feel them.
Crazy Writing Belief #3 Your friends and family can’t wait to read your masterpiece.
Sure, a few of your friends and family members are willing to read your work, but the majority wish you’d stop talking about your characters like they’re real people. Of course, now your family and friends have rock-solid proof that you’re insane…proof that can be used against you if they ever decide to have you committed. So, use caution when approaching others and asking them to read your work.
Crazy Writing Belief #4 I’ll take a break when this book is finished.
I’m not sure if this falls under the heading of ‘Crazy Writing Beliefs,’ or ‘Lies I Tell My Husband So He’ll Stop Bugging Me About All The Time I Spend Writing.’ Truth is: I will not take a break when my book is finished. If I don’t start on the next one, I’ll be editing something. So, honey, if you’re expecting me to shut down the computer and start cleaning the house, you’re just as delusional as I am. Maybe my husband can write a blog entitled, ‘Crazy Beliefs I Had When I First Married My Wife.’
Crazy Writing Belief #5 Now that I’m a writer, I’m adrift in a world of non-writers. I am alone.
This is a belief I am happy to dispel. Truth is: There are tons of writers out there; you just have to know where to look. Local writers groups, online writers groups, crazy people you meet on the internet… you are not alone. I’ve met the best group of people since I began my writing journey: people willing to read my books, give me advice, offer encouragement when I’m feeling alone. The writing community is probably the best thing about the writing journey and I’m grateful.