Writing Fallacies

Writing fallacies distort the purpose and reality of the wordsmith. Writers have a duty to represent their craft properly. This applies to all professions really. The job one holds should be represented properly and not inflated for the sake of appearances. We see this often when individuals tend towards spending an inordinate amount of time on a task or when they want to ensure their consistent employment. Alternatively, we see individuals undervaluing their own work, and in turn propelling this idea of lesser value of a craft onto clients. Below are some writing fallacies that may illuminate some of the common myths we see existing in the writing realm:

There’s no such thing as writer’s block.

Writer’s block is not an incapability to write. It’s a psychological hurdle to reign in. It’s not the thing itself, the writing, it’s the mind. Being preventative and proactive about the mind’s hurdle means getting into the exercise of writing every single day. There are tools that make this more organized, like Morning Pages, specifically designed for those writers to reclaim their creative potential. No state of personhood necessitates the complete and utter loss of creativity. The general rule is that the more creativity you use, the more you have. Sometimes “overcoming writer’s block” just means asking yourself why you think you cannot do something. It means replacing it with “why don’t I do something?”

You don’t need formal qualifications to be a writer.

Having certain formal qualifications doesn’t necessarily make a better writer. For some, writing is an intuitive process refined over years of trials. I’m always weary of advice from writers or others providing character and plot formulations. Contrary to it’s intended purpose, the advice actually functions to stop me in my tracks and quickly become overwhelmed with the “tasks” attributed to writing. I was only able to write novels once I had accepted that I would have the best idea of what I wanted to say and how I wanted to do it. I forwent ideas about my qualifications. Paying too close attention to my achievements and my perception of their worth has consistently led to undervaluing my abilities.

Writing, photo by Jessie Bell

The writer has a duty to portray his or her position in its realities, not in a myth of the eccentric or romantic notions often attached to it. On the other end, he or she also has a responsibility to value his own craft, regardless of his or her formal qualifications.