There have been a lot of myths about writing that simply weren’t true. In this post, we discuss 5 myths that are still widely believed by readers and the public in general.
1. Writers make a lot of money.
This doesn’t even come close to scratch the surface. Most writers don’t make enough to last through the year and are forced to take part-time jobs in order to put up with their bills. The truth is that a writer usually makes somewhere between 10-25K USD in advances per year. That is just over 2K on the high end, and a whopping $833 on the lower end (that’s only traditionally published writers). Unless it’s someone like Stephen King, writing full-time is generally not a viable dream for most writers. Buy their books, leave reviews because that is what makes or breaks a book for writers. I want you to think about this: how many books were never finished because the author just gave up, thinking no one was interested enough to review their work?
If you liked it, make sure to leave a review or shoot a message to the writer if you can on social media. I know for a fact that a lot of authors have a “Nice Things” folders that they go through when they are feeling down (and believe me, that happens a lot and not even the best authors are immune -George R. R. Marin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire once said that there are days that he thinks he should’ve been a plumber and that he still doubts that he has any skill).
2. Writing books is fun.
Generally, people -who don’t write- always fantasize and romanticize the idea of writing a full-fledged novel. To them, the writer lives in a world of dreams, a world of their creation. But that is far from the truth. The writing process not only consists of writing the story itself but character sheets, numerous world-building activities along with the outline which itself goes through many changes throughout. Worst of all, the work isn’t done after completing the book which goes to many editing rounds (developmental, line edits, and proofreading).
This whole journey isn’t just painfully excruciating, but it also crushes a writer’s soul in the process. That’s why it takes -on average- a year to fully finish a book and have it in a polished enough state for publishing.
3. Writers enjoy killing characters (good or bad).
In the words of Stephen King: “Kill your darlings.”
Many readers get a shock when their favorite character is killed off (or even a villain for that matter) and the first thing that readers think is “how could the author do this” -and yes, George, we’re looking at you- but what happens to a writer when they kill off any character?
Writers spend a good amount of time fleshing out each character that there’s so much more about every character written that isn’t told; the writer always knows more than they lead towards (it’s part of developing characters). It almost always hits the writer more than the reader; these are characters they spent days and months in their head. It is never easy to kill off a character they spent so much time developing, fleshing out and living through their eyes and ears, so consider this before you send another tweet at George when Winds of Winter eventually comes out.
4. Writers are arrogant.
This is one thing people generally seem to forget: authors are introverts -mostly- and are generally insecure about their writings. Many popular authors have stated in interviews that they all believe a certain amount of luck contributed to their success and they still believe their writing isn’t that good. When you approach an author, they are often very friendly and love to discuss books (not just those written by them).
Some writers have been notorious for having an “author’s ego” but that is only a self-defense mechanism that they have built and perfected for years. A lot of authors have given up because they felt like they were shouting at the abyss. I know I mentioned this before, but remember: the sequel of your favorite book could be a single tweet away.
5. Writers compete with each other.
There is a general misconception that writers are protective of their ideas and creative process. In most cases, this couldn’t be further from the truth. “I thought I was the only one!” is what a writer says when they meet another and spend hours talking about how they enjoy killing off their characters (especially the spot they have reserved in hell). But in all seriousness, no two authors could write the same story -even with the same premise, storyline, and outline. A writer’s voice will always eclipse the idea, that is why we have so many vampire novels for example (yes, some were worst than others, and some resort to follow a specific trend, but even then, the feel of the story and the way it flows can vary significantly.)
About The Author
M.G. Darwish is an award-nominated author who writes dark, twisted and action-packed fiction. He tries his best not to base his characters on anyone he knows in real life to avoid that extra weird conversation about how they were brutalized and killed in the book. Oh and he's terrified of a penguin uprising more than ghosts and demons.
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Emperor Magmar has quelled the rebellion. All should’ve been well, yet there was one problem: the Red Hand… lived.