5 facts about writing that writers hate to know
"I do (swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm) that what I shall state shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…"
Writing is a tool of expression, recognition, and strength. But whoever said that the pen is mightier than the sword had never stood in a battlefield.
While writing is one of the most versatile, rewarding and popular forms of art, it is not an all-encompassing omnipotent God that will solve all your problems. In fact, it brings several problems of its own.
So if you're a writer and weak at heart at that, close your eyes and off you go, shoo! These cold hard truths are not for you.
1. You are not as good as you think you are
We have all met that self-serving writer who thinks they are the epitome of the written excellency and everyone should bow down to them. Well, look closely and deep inside your heart. Are you that person? Many of us live in this bubble with our friends and family who keep telling us that we are synonymous with perfection. While in reality, we only draw circles around clichés.
'Your eyes were like a violent ocean, they pierced my heart'
And that is one example of poor writing that bubble babies consider Godly. It all comes down to our writer's ego- that we can't do wrong. And then we enter a contest and that bubble bursts, sending us spiraling and losing confidence. There is no harm in believing that you have a lot to learn. That is your first step to growth.
2. You're not talented, or it doesn't matter
Writing is often called a talent before a skill. However, the legendary writer Murakami had once said that writing is, after all, a skill. A survival skill at that. Good writers are maybe born, but successful writers are forged. You have to rave and burn to accomplish something in the field of writing.
More than a gift, writing is a muscle. Just being born with a knack for language or storytelling will not differentiate you from the other million poetic spawns. So grab a pen and paper and google some prompts to practise. Or better yet, go attend a writing workshop.
3. There isn't money in it for a long time
Forget money, it takes years for a writer today to blow up and get significant recognition. In order to start earning money through writing, you first have to create a strong readers' base for yourself. This includes promoting your professional work on various social media (there is no scope for organic following without paid promotions… not really), enter as many contests as you can, submit to paid journals, get self-published books on shelves and a million overhead costs. Making money out of writing is definitely possible, but most people would give up before they reach that stage. What about you? Do you have what it takes to go all the way?
4. You won't grow without negative feedback
All writers appreciate constructive criticism until they get one. We never actively solicit negative feedback and that feeds into the bubble we were talking about. The truth is that if your work is terrible, the friend you showed it to will most probably not tell you so. So make sure next time you want honest feedback, you force the reviewer to share at least two negative feedbacks about your work.
Now work on it.
5. It isn't enough on its own
Yes, that raw, fresh stream of emotions as raging as your own blood is an excellent source for a poem, but if you choose to send it out into the world without editing and re-editing it a million times, you have got it all wrong. Like any other art form, writing needs to be refined in order to look good. You have to make sure your readers don't just read about your emotions but feel them. Add imagery and strong metaphors wherever it makes sense. Edit, edit, edit and edit to the point where you cannot look at your piece anymore. Embracing the repetitive struggle is worth that piece of exceptional literature.
Scared? Well, you don't have to be. These challenging facts are what make writing a dignified art form that not all succeed at. It is unique, and it will take work. And if you keep going at it, you will see how each of these facts are actually a positive thing.
So keep writing, keep practising, keep growing. And never forget-
The world's most resilient art form depends on you.