Online Writing Lab

Common Writing Myths

There are many myths people believe when it comes to writing.  Some of these myths are harmless, while others can keep a writer from reaching his/her full potential.  Here are a few of the most common myths involving writing:

  1. Good writers are born that way:  Like any other skill in life, it is true that some people are naturally better writers than others.  However, good writers, even those who write professionally, have worked hard to become better at the craft.  The truth is that any writer, at any level, can become a better writer by learning what good writing consists of and spending time at practicing the craft.  No one is born with a natural understanding of grammar, punctuation, or proper mechanics.  All writers must learn the same basics in order to improve.

  2. Only professional writers need to know how to write:  Nearly every job requires some form of writing.  Especially in today’s business world, where emails and other forms of written communication are quite common, knowing how to write well is an important skill that all workers need to learn.  The better a particular person writes, the more job opportunities that person will have. 

  3. Unless a person is a good writer, he or she shouldn’t write at all:  The act of writing makes a person better at it, so if only “good” writers were able to write, no one would ever become good enough to do so.  All writers with all levels of skill can become better by writing frequently. 

  4. Writers wait for inspiration to write:  If all writers waited for inspiration to strike before beginning to write, nothing would ever be written, and we would live in a less creative world.  Creativity generally flows only when working, and successful writers attempt to chase down creativity through the act of writing rather than waiting for it to naturally appear. 

  5. Writing is always hard:  Writing can certainly be hard, but most people confuse something that is time consuming with something that is hard.  Like anything else, writing can be made easier through practice and patience, by using the proper mechanics and techniques, and by acquiring a proper understanding of grammar and punctuation.