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10 Misconceptions About Writers You Probably Believe

10 Misconceptions About Writers You Probably Believe

Facing misconceptions about writers started with my family. The first time I told my them I wanted to be a writer, you would have guessed from their facial expressions that I’d received a death sentence. They nodded their heads, as if trying to process some horrible shock. Their eyes said they thought I was making a terrible mistake.

Fast forward four years later, and they still think I’m making a mistake. But you know what? I have to say it’s the best mistake of my life. I’m a writer, and you better believe I love being one.

The only thing I don’t love about being a writer is the stigma that comes with it. The idea that because I’m a writer I must be an introverted, troubled, potentially mentally-ill weirdo. And that I’ll inevitably end up as A) a teacher, B) a starving artist, or C) a moocher. While those stereotypes may be true for some, they don’t apply to us all. (Though, to be honest, the weirdo part definitely applies to me.)

So before anyone continues to make assumptions about writers, they should consider this: there’s a lot more to us than the names you see in newspapers and magazines, and our writing usually tells more about us than what we’d tell you in person.

Here are 10 things people misunderstand about writers as a whole:

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1. We don’t have a social life

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    People often assume that if you write and read for a living, that’s all you do in your free time, too. I think I speak for most of us when I say that’s not at all true. Of all my friends, I actually consider the ones who are writers to have the most interesting and lively social lives. I mean, how else do you think writers come up with the inspiration for all their bizarre, elaborate stories? By locking themselves in their rooms all day? Please.

    2. We exaggerate constantly

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      Sure, we’re seen as the hopeless romantics and disturbed dreamers of the creative world. But we’ve got a trick or two up our sleeves. Writers have the gift to put power and emotion into words, but often people equate this with exaggerating for the sake of getting a point across to our readers. That’s not to say we fictionalize our thoughts and feelings, per se, but we might add a little spice to our writing from time to time to give it some intrigue.

      3. We read really really fast

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        Just because we write and read for a living doesn’t mean we’re all super-human readers. In fact, I’m pretty sure writers take longer to read than most. Have you ever come across a novel that’s nearly indecipherable because of the overwhelming number of highlighted passages, notes, scribbles, and bookmarked pages? If so, I’m betting the person responsible was a writer. And if not, then they should become one because no other group of people would consider destroying literature as an act of love and admiration. Joan Didion, this is my shout-out to you. The Year of Magical Thinking is now the most illegible volume on my bookshelf.

        4. We can come up with a story in no time

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          This ties in with the point above. It’s not like we have magic fingers, people. We don’t light-speed our way across a keyboard or zap a Pulitzer Prize-worthy story to life on our computer screens, though we wish we could. No, it takes time, lots of it. Coming up with a story takes patience, planning, late nights, early mornings, and bucket loads of coffee. It’s no picnic in the park. Well, actually, I take that back. It’s like a picnic in the park until you realize there’s ants all over your food and you have to find some elaborate way to lead them away without killing them. The point is, a good story requires critical thinking. Without it, the ants win.

          5. We are not expected to make money

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            The main concern everyone expresses towards writers is how we all expect to make money, but let me run this thought by you: A couple years ago, a single mother on welfare decided to write a fantasy novel that eventually turned her into one of the richest women in the world today. Her name is J.K. Rowling, you might have heard of her. Through writing, she made millions. And she’s not the only one. Writers are often viewed as the underdogs of the moneymaking race, but the truth is we all have the potential to be extremely successful. It’s just that most of us put success in our craft before success in our bank accounts.

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            6. We all want to become teachers

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              If I’m asked one more time if I want to teach after getting my degree in creative writing, I may flip out. Look, if I wanted to teach I would have gotten an education major. I understand that some English majors do plan on going into teaching after graduation, but it’s wrong to assume all of us wish to follow in their footsteps. Also, we don’t all want to become novelists. There are plenty of other career paths for writers besides those two positions. Just saying.

              7. We think writing is, you know, pretty OK

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                I may often complain about my writing classes or professors. But at the end of the day, there’s no doubt in my mind I love writing. I once had a professor who told us that if we loved writing, we were doing it wrong. While I understand why he said that, I also understand that everyone’s experiences are different. In my personal opinion, you truly have to love writing in order to be a writer, in addition to accepting the fact your butt may resemble a pancake after several hours of story-making.

                8. Writing is the most relaxing job imaginable

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                  A career in writing may not be as grueling or demanding as a career in medicine, but that’s not to say writers don’t experience their fair share of difficulties. Not only do we spend hours upon hours writing, rewriting, brainstorming, and usually scrapping our work, but we face loads of criticism on a day-to-day basis. Writers have to pretty much walk on virtual eggshells every time we post anything on the internet because we all know someone, somewhere, will find the misspelled word or grammatical mistakes in our writing. I could go on all day about how difficult writing is at times, but I think you already get the point. Writing is a tough business. Enough said.

                  9. We can finish our pieces whenever we want

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                    Believe it or not, almost all writers work on a deadline. And believe it or not, almost all of us wait until the very last second to turn our work in. It’s not that we’re lazy. Quite the opposite actually. The reason most writers wait until the deadline is because we’re perfectionists. We want our work to be spectacular, free from error, and purposeful before we send it anywhere. So naturally we procrastinate until we feel it’s ready to be submitted. And trust me, we’re fantastic at it. The story is due by 11:59 p.m., and we wait until 11:57 p.m. on that day to submit it simply because we can—and much to the annoyance of our editors. Plus, it helps to have a creative mind when you’re working under deadline. The stuff some writers can create at the last minute never ceases to amaze me.

                    10. We’re all boring nerds

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                      As I said earlier, we’re the quirkiest of the quirks out there. And I’ll admit, we are. I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a creative writing workshop expecting to find the most normal group of people there, but then again I’m glad I didn’t. Though we’re a quirky bunch of creative enthusiasts, writers are some of the most awesome people you will ever meet. We may not be social butterflies and we may spend a lot of our time with our noses in books and our fingers on keyboards, but what we lack on the surface we make up for in character.

                      So before you judge a book—I mean, a writer—by the cover, consider these typical misconceptions about writers. And while we may be the underdogs of the professional world, there’s a lot more to us than meets the eye. That “more” can be found all over our blogs and Word docs.

                      Featured photo credit: typewriter/Lívia Cristina L. C. via flic.kr

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                      1 The Key to Happiness and Leading a Fulfilling Life 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success 4 What Is an Existential Crisis and How to Cope with It 5 Joy Vs Happiness: What’s the Difference and Can We Achieve Both?

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                      Last Updated on April 23, 2019

                      13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

                      13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

                      Let me begin by being 100% frank with you – everyone is capable of happiness.

                      Happiness is first a choice but it also takes persistence to maintain. Happiness is our birth right and my mission is to help as many people as I can live their happiest life.

                      My mission is to spread the message that everyone deserves happiness.

                      To live a happy life; however, you must do the work, gain the necessary knowledge, and increase your awareness.

                      You must fully embody this state and begin to think and feel happiness on every level of your being.

                      Often times, excuses present themselves and our mind gives us the reasons why we can’t be happy:

                      “I am too busy right now to focus on happiness”

                      “I will be happy when I finish school, when I have the money, when I am in the right relationship, when I have kids, when my children are older….”

                      “I would have had a happy life if this traumatic event had never happened”

                      “I don’t deserve happiness”

                      EVERYONE deserves happiness. The reason that you are here right now is because you have a purpose and you are on the earth to enjoy your journey.

                      Think BIGGER than your excuses. Push FARTHER than your complaints.

                      Don’t be pulled away from greatness. Get uncomfortable. At least these are what happy and successful people do on a daily basis.

                      This article highlights the top 13 tips and tricks of how happy people think and feel.

                      If you would like to begin embodying this life-changing state, then… Here are the 13 ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently:

                      1. Happy People Put Happiness First

                      Happy people have made the decision that their end goal is happiness.

                      Every situation, event, bad day ultimately ends with happiness.

                      To them, happiness is equivalent to sleep and water – it is a necessity to their life. To live an unhappy life is to have never lived at all.

                      The happy person asks,

                      “What would be the point of living if every day and moment were filled with negativity?”

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                      “Why would I deplete my energy on negativity when I expend less to be positive?”

                      They make happy-based decisions which means in EVERY MOMENT they choose happiness.

                      If their circumstances can’t change then they instead change their perspective, they look for the silver lining in the negative.

                      Happy people don’t let negativity steal their moments away – a positive mindset always prevails.

                      If you ask a happy person how their day was, they will always answer your question with a highlight or a lesson learned.

                      2. Happy People Embrace Pain

                      I know what you are thinking –

                      “No one is ALWAYS happy”

                      or …

                      “Even happy people get in bad moods”

                      and …

                      These statements are absolutely accurate.

                      Happy people aren’t always happy and they DO get into bad moods. They get overwhelmed, they feel defeated, and their feelings get hurt.

                      Happy people aren’t invincible and they feel pain just like everyone else. The only difference between happy people and people who let negativity run their lives is that…

                      Happy people quickly acknowledge their pain and they make a decision to find a way to transform their pain into something greater. They also use these 13 simple ways to shake off the sadness.

                      Happy people admit the negativity they feel and they do what it takes to get back into their natural state: happiness.

                      When your end goal is happiness, then you will find a way to achieve it no matter how much strength you have to muster.

                      3. Happy People Have a Happy Self-Image

                      We all have an image in our minds that we subconsciously live up to.

                      The reason that change is so hard is because our subconscious mind is programmed to live by how we define ourselves.

                      How are you currently defining yourself?

                      For happy people, they see themselves with a smile, positive outlook, and/or a bounce in their step. When an event or situation arises that brings in a negative emotion, they quickly change their state to resemble their natural self-image.

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                      When happy people are in a bad mood, it feels unusual to them because feeling negative isn’t aligned with how they see themselves.

                      When they feel upset, they acknowledge the negativity and look for a solution to bring their emotions to the level of how they perceive themselves.

                      Look at how you define yourself today – your mind and body are always trying to live up to the definition it is taught to believe.

                      Your body’s job is to keep you in a “normal” state because this is where it feels most comfortable.

                      If your self-image is happy, then your mind and body will naturally be brought back to where it feels at home. Your actions will be a clue to how you define yourself.

                      4. Happy People Have a Strong Support System

                      The happiest people know that it takes a village and they lean on others for support.

                      Happy people feel comfortable reaching out for help when they feel that their resistances are overpowering them. They quickly sense their negativity and they tell somebody.

                      Happy people ask for assistance when they can’t figure out a problem. Seeking help takes strength and it never gets in the way of their self-worth. Happy people appreciate the wisdom that their support system provides.

                      They have strong connections with the people who are close to them. They never trudge through tough times alone because jeopardizing their happiness for too long would be detrimental to their well-being.

                      5. Happy People Safeguard Their Minds from Negative Triggers

                      Warding off negativity is almost impossible when we live in a society that lives by what went wrong and feeds off of what could go wrong. News travels instantaneously so it would be unrealistic to shut this out of your life completely.

                      However, one strategy that happy people use to safeguard their minds is regulating their environment.

                      We have a lot of control on how we allow our environments to affect us. We can control our social media feed, the television shows and movies we watch, the books that we read, the people that we spend our time with, and the places that we hang out.

                      If happiness is your end goal, then take a good look at what is bringing you down. What triggers your unhappiness? See if there is anything in your environment that can be changed……

                      What we listen to, read, and who we hang out with influence our mind, what we think about, what we worry about, our reactions, and behaviors.

                      Happy people know what triggers a feeling of negativity and it feels out of alignment for them so they do what it takes to avoid it.

                      They might regulate their social media news feed to reflect the information that brings them positive energy. They might regulate the people that they spend their time with. It is important to hang out with like-minded people.

                      What are you triggers? How can you avoid the negativity in your environment?

                      These are ways that happy people regulate their environment and safeguard their minds.

                      6. Happy People Know When to Say “No”

                      Happy people know when to sit one out and say “no.” They do this to protect their happiness and well-being.

                      Life gets overwhelming – a lot of people need our attention and the to do list can seem never ending.

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                      Happy people give themselves permission to take the day off and they feel comfortable with saying “no” when their stress levels begin to climb. They understand that those around them aren’t benefiting from someone who is frazzled, overwhelmed, and tired.

                      A happy person identifies their negative emotion and then they quickly treat it to bring themselves back to their “normal” state, so that they can be at their best for not only themselves but for those around them, too.

                      A simple “no” can ultimately mean many more “yes’s” in the future because happiness has a long battery life. You can take a look at Leo Babauta’s article The Gentle Art of Saying No and learn to say no.

                      7. Happy People Are Good Evaluators

                      Happy people can quickly sense when something is off with themselves or others. They are very intuitive to happiness levels. When someone isn’t quite right, they are the first ones to notice.

                      Being able to evaluate happiness means that you can identify when negativity is lingering around for too long.

                      We all have bad days; however, the happy person evaluates often and quickly intervenes.

                      In other words, happy people frequently evaluate their state and immediately change when their pessimism is overshadowing their joy.

                      8. Happy People Bring Other People Up

                      What goes on inside of us is mirrored into our physical world.

                      What we think about literally consumes our life and is displayed in our work, relationships, and attitude.

                      Happy people naturally feel good inside and about themselves so they treat others the way that they treat themselves. It never feels forced to give a compliment or to help out a stranger.

                      When we are truly happy with ourselves, everyone around us has a better experience. Happy people are kind to themselves and because of this, it feels natural to them to want to make others’ happy, too.

                      9. Happy People Go After Their Dreams

                      Happy people are always following the joyful path. They make happy-based decisions and because of this, they always end up where they want to be.

                      It’s absolutely impossible to be happy by following an undesirable path, which is quite opposite for unhappy people.

                      Most people journey through life on a path they think they are “supposed” to be own. Warning signs (negativity) are often ignored because they truly believe that these feelings are a normal part of life.

                      Negativity is NOT normal.

                      The happiest people investigate the negativity in their life and quickly analyze the results. This process allows them to get back on the joyful path which ends in a desirable outcome.

                      Follow your happiness and your dreams will come true (If that isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is!)

                      In addition to happiness, here are 14 amazing things that happen when you live your passion.

                      10. Happy People Never Sweat the Small Stuff

                      The only expectation that the happy person has is that they remain in a joyful state.

                      They rarely have expectations for the events and people in their lives because they know that this is a sure way to get let down.

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                      The happiest people take life as it comes – you could say that they roll with the punches. When you don’t have expectations, thenyoue can just sit back and watch how beautifully life unfolds.

                      Happy people understand that bad things are inevitable, they are a part of life – The car will break, the kids will make mistakes, people will be late, and dinner will burn.

                      If it’s not anything seriously affecting their lives, then they don’t give their energy to it.

                      11. Happy People Rarely Have to Prove That They Are Right

                      Happy people remember that it’s more important to live up to what they believe. When you live your life aligned with your belief system, then there is no need to explain or prove yourself to others.

                      Differences in opinions are inevitable, but the happiest of people know it’s wasted energy to defend their position.

                      It is more effective to simply show people, through actions, how you think, feel, and what you believe.

                      Energy is saved, arguments are diminished, and credibility/respect are gained when we live by what we believe.

                      12. Happy People Smile (Even When They Don’t Want To)

                      Smiling is one of the healthiest things we can do; and happy people use this simple trick quite often.

                      It has been proven that smiling has the ability to boost your immune system, decrease stress levels, and can even make you look younger. The benefits of smiling have even been backed up by science.[1]

                      Better yet, smiling is contagious. When you engage in a quick smile, you are likely to brighten someone else’s day along with your own. It is no wonder why happy people smile often!

                      13. Happy People Live Life in the Present Moment.

                      When we are genuinely happy, we are living for the moment.

                      Happy people let go of the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. They take the moments for what they are worth – they only invest their energy in what feels right to them.

                      Everyone is capable of living a happy-centered life. You deserve a life that you desire – your dream life. All you have to start doing is make happy-based decisions TODAY.

                      In every moment, decide on what makes you happy – decide on what gets you excited. Stop doing what you don’t love, don’t listen to the people that you dislike.

                      If you are engaging in something that isn’t bringing you joy, then quit doing it. Listen to your heart, stop ignoring the warning signs (negativity) because they are there for a reason.

                      I have observed, studied, and interviewed some of the happiest and most successful people along with some of the most miserable and self-loathing.

                      It starts with one decision – happiness.

                      The happiest, most successful people choose happiness with EACH and EVERY decision. And you can start doing this today.

                      Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Harvard Business Review: The Science Behind the Smile

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