What are your beliefs about writing?

On the Road Manuscript, #1 Thomas Hawk via Compfight

We hold beliefs that affect our writing, whether we are conscious of these beliefs or not. Years ago I started a list of my writing beliefs so I could become more aware of how they help or hinder my work.

Some of my beliefs are smart, others are pure neurosis, and from time to time I revisit my list because I’ve noticed how my beliefs change. Here is just some of what I believe about writing:

  1. Talking about writing is not writing.
  2. When my life is difficult or depressing, I think: it’s all material.
  3. Don’t get stuck in an idea when another one is trying to happen.
  4. Writing well isn’t easy; otherwise, everyone would do it.
  5. I will always be learning to write.
  6. Sometimes the workshop group wants you to write your stories their way.
  7. Get rid of a sentence that gives you a hard time. You didn’t need it anyway.
  8. I have often proved my inner critic wrong.
  9. My ex will think everything I write is about him.
  10. Creation is painful. Revision is a blast.
    The only time I feel like doing housework is when I have a writing deadline.
  11. Reading work out loud is a good way to detect errors, tangles, and crap.
  12. My standards are higher than my abilities allow me to reach.
  13. My best writing happens when I’m not thinking about it.
  14. I am cautious about sharing my work in draft. It’s fragile then, and so am I.
  15. There is always a nugget of truth in every criticism.
  16. Time slows down painfully when you wait for someone to read your work.
  17. All the good sentences might already be taken.
  18. I am kinder to other writers than I am to myself.
  19. The hardest thing about writing is believing you can make it whole.
  20. Laughing out loud while writing is good, even if it’s not during the funny parts.
  21. Typos magically appear a nanosecond after you send off the piece.
  22. I’m a better writer than I used to be.
  23. Writer-friends. Necessary.

What beliefs do you hold about writing? Do they help you? Or hinder you? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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