11 Myths about creative writing and writers

Myths have accompanied us as a species since the dawn of time. Even if it might seem strange, given that evolution hasn’t wiped them off our DNA pool, they must provide us with some kind of benefit. However, this doesn’t mean all myths are always and necessarily useful or constructive. For example, sometimes myths about writing grow out of stereotypes and biases. And tend to radicate with uncanny ease in the minds of people, even if at a closer look many of such myths are in stark contradiction the one with the other. Here I present a list of some of the most widespread myths about writing. And examine them in detail to shed a bit of light on what is true and what is not.

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How to write a lot every day – myths and facts

Many years ago, when I began to put pen to paper, I wrote using whatever I had at my disposal. Given that I was a happy owner of a Commodore Amiga, and I also was a sort of a geek, the program I chose to write my first stories was a Seka Assembler, an editor developed for programmers, not writers. Seka Assembler was rudimentary, but it was fast and had all the basic functions I needed. I used it to write several short stories and one long SF novel I’m sure I still have tucked away somewhere. It took me a couple of years to finally decide this writing thing really intrigued me, and consequently buy a proper word processor. Besides, during those first years I wrote without any kind of a routine. Some weeks I wrote for hours seven days out of seven, some others I didn’t write a …

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Good ideas, bad ideas – How to recognize good and bad ideas

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between good and bad ideas. But the alternative is to have no ideas at all. Because, especially at the beginning, good and bad ideas are often indistinguishable. Given at least a grain of talent, creativity can be boosted. This is good news. In fact, it’s reassuring to be told we can take a stroll, read a book, or enroll for a creativity course to double the amount of our creative ideas, or to make them more original. But, as it is often the case in real life, things aren’t so straightforward. Otherwise, considering the number of books and courses devoted to creativity, lateral thinking, or whatever else we may call it, we would have droves of people coming up with spectacular new ideas all the time. Besides, we should also recognize that creative ideas can be both good and bad ideas. After …

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Psychological resistance and creative writing

psychological resistance

The concept of psychological resistance is nothing new, but it’s extremely important to know about it and its pernicious effects, if we want to keep improving in whatever we’re doing. A classical example of such psychological resistance is when we take for granted that we already know all the really relevant and important stuff about what we’re doing. Often, in such a case we discount any new piece of information because to examine it from an unbiased perspective we would have to challenge a lot of deep rooted perceptions and beliefs. We would have to challenge them with truth and reality, a situation that invariably leads most of us to experience fear, anxiety, uncertainty. Yet, in life nothing is certain. And everything is in perennial flux. Heraclitus wrote about it something like 2,500 years ago. As a result of this perennial flux, it’s essential to understand that knowledge too undergoes a …

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The Pareto principle in creative writing

Leaving the creative writing part alone for a moment, we can say that the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that for many events most of the results are determined by a small set of causes. There’s no need to delve with statistics or mathematics. Here what matters most is an instinctive grasp of the Pareto law, not the actual calculations.  Pareto principle – some examples: 20% of workers produce 80% of results 80% of sales come from 20% of clients 80% of wealth is owned by 20% of people 80% of problems with a product are caused by 20% of its defects Obviously this 80/20 ratio isn’t set in stone. In fact, in many situations such a ratio can be even more dramatic. Just think of how much it is important to appear on the first page of a search engine results to get Internet traffic.

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