1. Writing must be inspired: Writing never just happens. Waiting around for ideas and inspiration won’t work out.
2. Your writing must be meticulously outlined: The act of writing generates ideas. Outlines and mind mapping are incredibly useful, but don’t let the lack of either one prevent you from commencing.
3. Begin (only) at the beginning: It’s not necessary to write your introduction first and your conclusion last.
4. A good first draft is a final draft: Good writing comes from good revision. No one gets it right on the first go.
5. Simple, straightforward writing appears uneducated: Stacking phrase on top of phrase to make your reader work harder for the essay’s content does not make your piece more professional; it makes it confusing. This doesn’t mean that your ideas must be simple!
6. Only bad writers seek help: Writers of all levels workshop their pieces.
7. Write as many pages as possible: Please, don’t do this. Intentionally increasing the length of your work leads to pleonastic writing—the use of more words than necessary. Instead, make every word count.
8. Only English majors & professional writers need to know how to write: Nearly all professional fields require you to write clearly. Ideas cannot be communicated without writing. And if the writing is unclear, the idea will be as well.
9. Writing is easy: Even great novelists will admit that writing takes work. Just like learning a new language or solving equations, writing takes practice.
10. “Big words” make your writing sophisticated: Using strong vocabulary isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But tossing around big words without discretion can be distracting, especially if you’re using them incorrectly. Stick with strong verbs and nouns; adjectives are a dime a dozen.