All About Toxic Myths
Lots of writers believe in toxic myths about writing. They will often call it ‘realism’, but fact is – these myths are destroying their chances of advancing their careers. True story! Here’s 3 of the worst and what you should do instead … Pass it on!
‘It’s Too Late’
Every single week of every single year since forever writers have emailed or talked with me, worrying ‘it’s too late’. This might be because they think they are ‘too old’ to even become a writer, or maybe they think it’s ‘too late’ to change genres, make a film, do a course or something else.
I’ve heard this toxic myth soooooo often, I now have a rebuttal ready to go. It gets right to the heart of the matter and shows people how unfounded a fear this is …
ME: Are you dead?
WRITER: … Erm, no. I am still alive.
ME: Great! Then it’s not too late.
Fact is, it is NEVER too late. There is no expiration on your writing dream … unless you are dead. But then you won’t care about writing much anymore. Sorted! So reject this toxic myth and get going. MORE: 30 Top Creatives Who Broke In Late
‘I’m JUST A Writer …’
You don’t have to look far online to see writers talking themselves and their achievements down. Very often they will say writing is challenging, but ultimately ‘not important’.
Even pro writers fall foul of this toxic myth. They’ll post about a friend or family member and praise them … Perhaps that person is an activist, a teacher, a police officer, a nurse or something else deemed ‘worthy’ by society. Nothing wrong with that.
It becomes toxic when the writer will then follow this praise up with something along the lines of …
‘… Unlike me! I’m just a writer, making things up for a living, LOL!!’
Newbie writers and veterans will do similar, often comparing themselves to others on social media. When other writers share they’ve been optioned, or had something produced or published, that newbie or veteran will say …
‘Wow, you guys have got it going on! Unlike me, I just placed in this contest / finished my draft / sent some submissions. Oh well.’
Noooo! Reject this toxic myth of ‘just’ being a writer and comparing yourself to others at all costs. You are not ‘just’ a writer. You are committing to your dream and writing is HARD WORK.
Being a writer is not easy and every single victory is hard won. Facing up to the kind of rejection we go through, plus others’ lack of regard for our efforts, is EXHAUSTING. Friends and family may not know or care what we go through, so we definitely should. No one says you have to be obnoxious about it, but you’re entitled to take pride in your achievements, however big or small. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. MORE: Been Ghosted? 7 Ways To Stop Spooking Your Writing Goals
‘It’s A Catch 22’
Lots of writers believe it’s impossible to get any writing work without an agent … but also recognise that getting an agent without any writing work is hard too. This seems to be the ultimate ‘Catch 22’, especially when the term ‘no unsolicited material’ seems to be EVERYWHERE.
But fact is, this has never been my experience. Not even when I was a young writer, without B2W or anything really going for me. I was not special, or mega talented. I just understood that my career was in my hands. I could find my own way and BUILD MY OWN CAREER … so I did.
So don’t sit at home, stewing in resentment and believing toxic myths like ‘Catch 22’. Take the power back and make it work yourself. You can do it! MORE: THIS Is How You Create Your Writing Career
Grab Your Free Online Course!
I am offering Bang2writers a free mini course called The Foundations of Writing Craft. Using video, worksheets and PDF guides, I walk you through what I call ‘The B2W Holy Trinity’ … Concept, Characters and Structure.
So, if you want proven methodologies for working on your writing craft (including developing your structural toolbox), this course will provide the know-how and the resources you need. To grab your free mini course from B2W then, CLICK HERE.
I have a friend in his late eighties who, several years ago published a novel. He is now working on another project. So, as you rightly say, its never to late. On your second point, some people are, I believe falsely modest. Whilst modesty is an attractive trait, false modesty is not. Of course some individuals simply lack confidence in their own abilities, but others are falsely modest. Best wishes, Kevin
True, but false modesty is not a toxic myth – it is false modesty.
The Catch-22 is 100% real. I used to work for literary agents and the only way you could get one was 1) be referred by a current client, 2) be related to someone who was already successful, or 3) be a friend or relative of that agent. However, self-publishing is easy and anyone can and should do it. Don’t waste your life banging your head against the wall because agents and publishers don’t care about finding new work. Just DIY and POOF you’re a published writer.
Then how did I get an agent without a single one of those 3 things?