Why I disagree with “write what you know” & more.
“Writer’s block doesn’t exist”
Oh, PLEASE. If you’re a good writer who genuinely cares about the quality of your work, you will get writer’s block. In fact, writer’s block is an inevitable part of the creative process. So when it happens, don’t freak out. Instead, step away with the screen/paper/typewriter (shout-out to those doing it old school) and go outside. Walk away from your work and only return when you actually miss it.
“Either you’re a natural writer or you’re not”
Creative snobbery is the worst. Yes, some people can write better than others. But it’s subjective. And we all have something to say or a story to share. Simply deciding that someone can either write or they can’t is, quite frankly, bullshit. I’m not buying it and neither should you. The more we write, the “better” we all get.
“Only work on one thing at a time”
I beg to differ. My writing is a mess of half-formed thoughts and incomplete iPhone notes. That’s how I choose to create and it works for me. I also feel balanced when I’m not fixating on just one thing. If it goes wrong, I mentally switch to the other and go onto the next one. Onwards and upwards, always.
“In order to be a good writer, you must be well-read.”
Don’t get me wrong, reading is wonderful and inspiring and essential. But honestly? Sometimes you need to step away from other people’s voices in order to develop your own. We’ve all read someone desperately emulating Hemingway or Orwell and not in a good way. Focus on sounding like you. That’s what we, your readers, are really interested in. You.
“Write what you know”
Write whatever the hell you want.