The One Thing They Never Tell You About Being a Good Writer
You have misconceptions about writing and what being a good writer looks like. I do too. We all do--writers and non-writers alike.
We start out thinking writers are glamorous. They wear berets and sit in Parisian cafés writing sentences that come out perfect with no need to edit. We think alcohol is a magical writing elixir, but Hemingway has been wrong before.
When that phase is over, we think that writers block will never happen to us and feel like our talent has died when we encounter it the first time. But we survive--we live to write again.
Then we think that all we need is time and that if we had nothing to do but write, we'd have a glorious novel--a bestseller--cranked out and fully edited in a month. We never account for time spent distracted or searching for the story introspectively.
And when that phase ends, others follow. Writing misconceptions have many faces.
But there's one thing no one ever talks about when it comes to being a good writer. And it's perhaps the most important thing for writers of all levels and abilities to remember.
Good writers will always make more mistakes than bad writers.
Sounds counter-intuitive, right? But you can't make mistakes if you never try.
It's a matter of probability and statistics. Consider those signs you see in factories and warehouses that say "This facility has been accident-free for X number of days." It's easy to be accident-free for one day, but every passing day increases the chances that an accident will happen. One day accident-free? No problem. 472 days accident-free? Now that's much harder.
The same is true for writing. The more content you produce, the more typos you're going to find. Yet instead of looking at it like we do athletes--"Oh, he's just having a bad game"--we beat ourselves up and think we should know better. After all the writing we've done, shouldn't we know better?
No. Because we already do know better.
Bad writers don't realize when they're making typos. The fact you discovered your typo shows you're self-aware. It's impossible to execute good writing with 100% accuracy all the time, but the important thing is that we know when we're doing it wrong––and when we're doing it right.
So if you catch yourself making a lot of mistakes, don't worry. It doesn't mean you're a bad writer. Good writers will always make more mistakes than bad writers because they're the ones actually putting themselves out there. Writing is an act of bravery.
Do you beat yourself up over your writing or are you afraid to put yourself out there? Tell me in the comments below and I'll send some positive vibes and encouraging words your way. And if this post resonated with you, share it with your friends by clicking the Twitter link above.