13 Lies Every Writer Tells Themselves When They First Start Writing

Ella Ceron / Instagram
Ella Ceron / Instagram
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway.

That’s what I have been telling myself all this time ever since my fingers began to itch. Trying to fill the monotonous humdrum of life and capture it in your words is the essence of the whole thing, isn’t it?

Writing is painstakingly tough but then almost every writer goes through a letdown, give-it-up-all phase and at times wants to free himself from the shackles of the sound of typing, Googling, synonym-searching, and the endless staring at computer screens. For once, we want our minds emptied of all our running thoughts. But then to keep the ball running, there is a lot of coaxing I do with my inner self. The weirdest lies are the ones we subconsciously tell ourselves. “The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.”

There are tiny lies I tell my inner blogger to pep it up little each day; the lies that we tell our heart at times to keep it fooled, even if we know that they are lies.

1. That I am going to be famous very soon.

This lie is something that I tell myself almost each morning as I hit my email box. That once I get featured on this particular site, I am going to get famous or make it big. Unfortunately, things do happen but at a snail’s pace.

2. That one day I am going to make lots of money out of it.

A lie in guise of a truth. Yes you get paid if you blog or write, but will it pay your bills? Scarce enough in the beginning, but if you market it well, one day you might even make lots of money from it. But the possibilities? Unpredictable.

3. That it is now or never.

That now I am young and free and don’t have many responsibilities, so now is the best time. I would never be able to do it at a later date. (This is actually a lie, if you are passionate about something, you can always scrape in some time for it, no matter what.)

4. That everything has a perspective. See it.

That I need to make logic out of everything is what I tell myself, but it isn’t always true. As writers, we gauge all the aspects of a situation too critically. We try to see the analogy of everything in life and relate to it. Shouldn’t we let some things escape our critical eye?

5. That writing just flows.

I thought that I was good with words, so the words would just come out on their own when I begin my story. Well, that doesn’t always happen. Pitches that I thought would remain fresh from last night’s thoughts are forgotten by morning. Words need to picked, my brain needs to be twisted, and spell check needs to be, well, checked.

6. That everyone reads my writing.

This is what I tell myself when I am about to post an article and wait for the response. Three comments and 20 visitors later, there is hardly much change. So the efforts of burning the midnight oil might not exactly match up with what you had expected. But if you do get published somewhere, well, the traffic would definitely be more. More midnight oil!

7. That people see me in a different light now.

Now that’s a tricky one. Your articles resonate you in brief. I like to think that many people would laud me, but writings might even repel people. So the reflections of your inner self might see you in a different light, but it may get you some unwanted attention.

8. That writing is a full-fledged job.

An old friend texted me the other day asking what was I up to nowadays. I instinctively replied, writing and blogging .To which she texted back saying, “That’s fine, but I meant what you actually do?” That’s it. Why doesn’t anybody ever think that writing can be a full-time job? At least I think it is, but the world is yet to give writers their due credit. Sadly, going to an office, wearing business clothes, and leading a presentation is considered more dignified than a blogger with random thoughts.

9. That today it is going to be just me and the laptop.

Every day I tell myself that it will be just me and my laptop having a conversation but some days are a far cry from it. Every morning when I am determined finish impending articles, I need to fight lots of distractions: Social media distractions, daily chores demands, or just a non-productive day. Your writings for websites will be critiqued and trashed. What may be funny for you might not be funny for the reviewer. Endless hours of battling with your wits, saving drafts, taking pains to improve your blog and traffic and alignments later, you realize you didn’t actually write, you were editing. The world has evolved and so should you.

10. That writing is a “free” affair.

I tell myself everything has a price but your words are free. Not literally. Sometimes you need to shed some generous amount of money if you are hiring someone to build your website or for publishing your book. Even if you are good at managing things on your own or are self-financed, writing is not a free affair. You need to make lots of sacrifices on your personal front, take out lots of time, and dedicate yourself fully for the love of the pen.

11. That there won’t be any deadlines now.

That’s what I thought initially, that there is no hassle of someone breathing down your neck. But then I was wrong. The more I started taking up assignments, the more deadlines came. The more websites I wrote for, more sticking to different rules and formats that they used — sometimes enough to get your fingers burnt.

12. That there is so much to write.

You are unique and your writings are fresh, my friends told me — only to venture out and find that there are others like me in the world who think the same way I do. There are at times I finished writing an awesome article only to find echoing thoughts from another person on the web, so sometimes it feels like there is not always so much there to write.

13. That life will be the same, no matter what.

I feel that I have evolved as a person but my soul is of a writer. Nothing much changes, or does it? Well, missing the get-together with friends would seem OK as you had a stream of thoughts and wanted to scribble on your the latest post. You miss a friend’s birthday as you were submitting a post and the deadline was today. You missed what your husband said from the kitchen as you were engrossed in your train of thoughts. I tell myself each day that life is the same, but being in four walls of the room made me realize a lot has moved on.

These are the lies-that-I-know-are-lies that I tell myself each day. Lies that we tell our subconscious heart. Lies that keep you engaged when the going gets tough. But I tell you what: all the lies are worth it. All the staying up nights to finish a lovely article is worth it when your loved ones applaud you, all the efforts seem rewarding when someone reviews each article lovingly and remarks you are getting better. All the endless sessions spent on the blog seem apt, when people start liking and subscribe to your posts, or when you see your efforts being recognized on an international platform. — or just a mere pat on the back of your blogger self from the sheer happiness you get by re-reading the stuff all over again. TC mark

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