Pants on Fire: Common Lies Writers Tell Themselves

Pants on Fire

Could be a liar. Could have the clap. (Photo credit: Mike Licht,

Writers are champion liars. It’s part of the job description, after all. We’re both making things up; it’s just that the writer bothers to put them down on paper.

But we lie to ourselves a lot, too, and that’s not helpful. Maybe it’s bottles of red wine I drank last night*, but I don’t have much of a stomach for the lies this morning. Here’s a run down of the more popular ones, and what to do about them:

I don’t have the time to write right now. Really? The eleven hours worth of Toddlers and Tiaras on your Netflix history says otherwise.
Now, tell the truth: you’re not prioritizing writing.
Nothing wrong with that, either. There’s lots of things I don’t prioritize. Folding the laundry. Mailing gifts**. Playing video games. I do all these things sooner or later, but when it comes to a choice between them and writing…well,  I can come back to them, right? And if writing is on your list of Shit I Can Put Off, then that’s cool. Just stop fucking complaining about it. You’re making a choice; own that. And if you don’t like that choice, choose different.

My story’s too much of a mess. Two choices here: organize the story, figure out where you got off track, and get back on; or start over from the beginning and try not to make the same mistake twice. If this is a common occurrence, you might have a case of Premature Writing. It’s okay, it happens to lots of people. Nothing to be embarrassed about. But check out this post on romancing your story. It’ll help until they develop a little blue writer pill.

Everything’s already been said. …Really? So why are you reading this blog?
Breaking out the armchair psychology here, people who say this really mean, “I don’t think I’m saying anything important.” They’ve lost confidence in the story or their own abilities. Or both. Sad Panda Writers.
If this happens to you, it’s time to rediscover what you love, either about the story or about writing in general. Most times it’s still there. You’ve just forgotten about it. And in the rare cases where the love is not there anymore…well, it might be time to cut bait and move on.

It’s too hard. No, it’s hard, but not too hard. You can do it. Sometimes well, sometimes not so well. Learn from the bad stuff you write and move on.
And in the meantime: suck it up, buttercup.

So, what lies have you heard lately? And what ones have you told yourself?

*Yes, on a Thursday. Shut up. Judge me on your own time.
**My record is sending my brother’s birthday gift ten months late.


4 thoughts on “Pants on Fire: Common Lies Writers Tell Themselves

  1. “I just have to clear away a few of these other things first, then I’ll really be able to concentrate on the writing.”

  2. “I just need to read some more books on writing to get started writing. Am I writing anything now? No, I’m reading way to many how to books on writing to ever start writing.”

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