In AETHERBOUND, E.K. Johnston Creates a Universe for the Unwanted to Thrive

Aetherbound is a story of survival and the refusal to accept an unfair destiny. Once again. E.K. Johnston creates a cast of characters we can all relate to.

When your own family doesn’t believe you’re worth the air you breathe, it’s easy to accept your desperate place in the universe.

But maybe you don’t have to. Maybe there’s something better out there for you.

Prendt didn’t choose the genes she was born with. Yet because of the way the universe made her, her family wishes she didn’t exist.

Which would be a tragedy all on its own, of course. Add to it the fact that the freighter they live and operate on barely has enough resources to keep every individual alive, and Prendt finds herself minimally surviving in a home where everything she consumes makes her loved ones hate her more.

In a daring attempt to free herself from her circumstances, Prendt escapes the only place she has ever called home in search of a better life. She has no idea that she’s capable of more than just barely surviving.

Continue reading “In AETHERBOUND, E.K. Johnston Creates a Universe for the Unwanted to Thrive”

Shelley Parker-Chan’s SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN Is a Tale of Desperate Persistence in a Dark, Unforgiving World

SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN will be someone’s top book of 2021 and caters to the adventurers, the dreamers, and the pursuers.

If you were told you were destined for nothing, what would you do to prove your prophecy false?

Shelley Parker-Chan’s new release She Who Became the Sun begins with destiny at its forefront. A fortune-teller stands over two siblings, a brother and his sister. The boy is promised greatness; the girl, nothing at all.

Then the boy dies. And instead of letting herself waste away into the nothingness the world set up for her, she takes on the identify of Zhu, joins a monastery, and vows to achieve the greatness her brother never would.

She has no idea what achieving greatness will truly ask of her until everything goes wrong.

Continue reading “Shelley Parker-Chan’s SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN Is a Tale of Desperate Persistence in a Dark, Unforgiving World”

I Finally Figured Out Why John Green’s Writing Makes Me Feel Whole

Reading The Anthropocene Reviewed uncovered a decade-old mystery I’ve been trying to solve the wrong way.

Up until two days ago, I could not remember the last time I read a book that made me cry.

And I don’t just mean marking your place in a novel for a moment while you wipe a single tear away and soldier on. I mean the kind of crying where you put the book down or pause the audio, stare at what’s in front of you without really seeing it and just losing yourself in the sadness, or joy, or maybe a strange mix of both.

I should have known John Green would be the one to break me.

Continue reading “I Finally Figured Out Why John Green’s Writing Makes Me Feel Whole”

You Can Fall In Love With Writing Again

When you do start to feel you no longer love what you do, remember this: If you ever loved it at all, you will always find your way back.

When did we all start believing that writing is always the perfect outlet for our … everything?

I have a difficult time ever recalling a mentor or a writer I admired from afar telling me that there would be stretches where I hated writing so much I’d want to quit.

I’d always assumed it would be difficult. Never that I would forget why I liked it.

Though no one ever said writing was easy — I’d personally like a word with those who have, I just want to talk — what many don’t realize when they sign up for this life is that being a writer isn’t always going to be a job you love.

In fact, there will be days you hate it. Months you feel you’re dragging yourself miserably through it. Spans of time you just … stop.

It’s those dark and dreary times I want to highlight here. I don’t know if you could say I’ve officially been trapped in one for the past year or so. But at some point I did largely scale back on how much I wrote per week.

And I barely missed it. Until recently.

I can’t say what brought me back to my desire to make words happen. Maybe it’s been there for a long time and I was too busy, too stressed, too focused on other projects to notice.

But honestly? For me, coming back to writing is the easy part.

The hard part will be continuing to remember why I want to stay.

And it takes a lot of effort to rediscover the reasons you started writing in the first place. Because day to day, sometimes they’re different. Some days it’s for your [potential] readers. Some days it’s for yourself. Your paycheck, if you’re lucky. Your ego, if you’re honest.

Beneath all that, though, is the one truth we all must cling to whether we’re currently actively writing or not: Back when you had nothing, and you put words onto pages, you did it not for the money, the people, the recognition — you did it because you wanted to. Because you loved it.

Deep down, you probably still do. I know I do.

Why, then, do we fall out of love with writing? Because it’s work. It’s exhausting. Even “fun” writing requires switching on a part of you that uses up more energy than you realize until after the fact.

Sometimes we realize we’re not getting out of writing what we need in the moment. And we decide we need to stop.

Just because you hit pause doesn’t mean you have to walk away forever.

When you do start to feel you no longer love what you do, remember this: If you ever loved it at all, you will always find your way back.

Like any kind of love, your connection to, care of, and passion for your writing will never be a constant, easy thing. Though you will always have and cherish it, challenges will arise. Uncertainty will surface. You will face moments in which you’ll wonder: “Is this really what I’ve always wanted?”

And that is the very definition of loving something — questioning whether or not we want or need it only to realize that though we may change, we may have doubts and insecurities, some things don’t alter and shift as we do.

However, unlike love — which, if nurtured properly, can ideally withstand the various ups and downs of the twisted, treacherous roads of life — writing is a different kind of constant. It often will not love you back. And when you walk away from it, it will wait patiently for your return without protest.

If you want to be a writer, you can always be exactly that. Writing requires work, but work is not all we do or all we are. When you take a break, whether short or extensive, you’re not any less of a writer than you were. As long as you intend to return to your work, rather than eternally existing in a state of “maybe tomorrow will be the day I seek out a blank page.”

Breaks are necessary. Vacations, hiatuses, pauses. “Resets.”

We sometimes look down upon these ideas when we should really be yelling about how essential, healthy, and rejuvenating they can be.

It’s often in the absence of the thing you love with all your heart and soul that you realize how much it really means to you.

I’m fairly confident that the most rewarding way to rediscover your love for writing is to walk away until you begin to wonder why you did. And THEN, once you’ve forgotten why you left … come back.

Don’t worry about jumping back into blogging or starting a new book or reconnecting with old clients or … any of that.

Just sit down, find a blank page — any one will do — and start writing.

Because that’s how your writing journey began, after all. You started with nothing, and through doing that you built something beautiful. Something you loved.

Start from your beginning. Remember why you did. And then keep going.

You won’t regret it.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor, writer, podcaster, and photographer. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about nonsense and Star Wars.

You’re More Than Just a Writer

Even if writing ends up becoming a side project instead of your main hustle, you’re still the same you.

In January 2019, I stopped being a writer.

I didn’t stop writing. Quite the opposite actually; I proceeded to write 1 million words over the 365 days that made up that year and I promise you, at some point, I will tell you why and how I did that … and why I’ll probably never do it again.

When I say I stopped being a writer, I really mean I stopped writing as a day job. I pretty much stopped getting paid to write.

Moving from a staff writing to an editing position at my place of employment was partially my choice and largely a means of filling a need at the company — one I was both more than qualified and happy to fill.

But it also meant I would no longer spend eight hours a day crafting my own words; instead, I’d be polishing someone else’s. Which was fine and, for the most part, still is over 2 years later.

What I didn’t know at the time was how challenging it would become to keep writing a large, if not the primary focus of my life once it no longer paid my bills. Not only did I have to find other outlets for my words, but also my creativity. I can’t just be happy with writing; I’ve done it for so long that it doesn’t always stimulate my needs the way it used to. Which is fine.

But the more I tried to vary my means of creative expression over the year that followed, the more I struggled to keep writing at the forefront not just of my to-do list, but of my list of passions as well.

I loved to write. I still do. I always will.

My identity, however, no longer rests solely in the fact that sometimes I write things, and every now and then they might be good things.

And that has made me happier than identifying myself as “a writer” ever has.

When we start on this journey of becoming the thing(s) we always dreamed of becoming, we teach ourselves to fear versatility. Granted, there are many people who function best when they focus on one thing. And there is NOTHING wrong wth that.

We can’t let it hold us back from making the most of our creative energy, though. Sometimes you just don’t feel like writing, or you know what you want to write but can’t seem to form the right words in the right order. Or life is just stressful and you’re too spent to even turn your laptop on.

Often times the reason we feel guilty or anxious when we’re not writing comes from our unintentional deprivation of active creativity. We’re not writing, so we think we can’t do anything else. But our brains are BEGGING us to do something. We have thoughts and ideas and energy and seemingly nowhere to put it.

I’ve found the best solution to this is to do the thing, or “a thing,” rather. Creativity takes endless forms. Drawing, even if badly (can relate). Singing (again, badly?), rearranging a bookshelf, SOMETHING.

The only warning label I’ll put on that is that you may accidentally discover, as I did the summer I started an Instagram account completely out of boredom, that even if you’re not good at a lot of things … you might really like exercising your creativity in more ways than just writing.

To avoid the existential crisis that can come with this epiphany, however, I’ll offer you this: Just because you don’t write all the time, or it’s not the only thing you do in your free time or otherwise, doesn’t mean your words or work or effort matter any less than they did before.

Even if writing ends up becoming a side project instead of your main hustle, you’re still the same you. Just with different priorities and maybe a new hobby or two.

You are not defined by one thing you do or say or think or represent. You can be as many or as few things as you want, and that doesn’t have to remain a constant. It can change daily if that’s what floats your canoe. Today, perhaps, you’re an aspiring writer reading this blog post wondering what you’re doing with your life. Tomorrow, maybe, you can be a hopeful creative seeking to define where you want to put your words and what you want them to mean.

Perhaps today I’m a former daily blogger who feels guilty for almost having quit this whole thing, having believed for a day too many that my words were meaningless and the world would be better off without them.

Tomorrow I might take 500 photos of my dog and bake a cake.

Why? Because my interests are many, my heart is full, and if I don’t write for 24 hours that simply means what it always should have — that writing is an important part of my life, but it is not all that I am.

Free yourself from this notion that we have to be an easily digestible thing to the masses. You are today what you choose to be, and that will always be enough.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor, writer, podcaster, and photographer. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about nonsense and Star Wars.

Why YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN Was the Most Important Book I Read in 2020

The beautiful thing about stories is that they often mean different things to different people.

Today I learned there’s a Billie Eilish song that shares a name with Leah Johnson’s young adult novel. I have read the book, and I have not listened to the song. Should I?

Later. When I’m done writing this post. Maybe.

So. 2020 was awful. Eventually I’m going to stop talking about it altogether. But despite all the bad, good things DID happen. Not enough to make up for all the awful, but hey, we have to grasp onto any good we can find, right?

For me, books were a huge staple holding the year together. I read 156 of them. In 12 months. Read, listened, same thing, right? (2.5x audiobook speed, you’ll never go back.)

Without a doubt, You Should See Me In a Crown tops my list. And it’s taken me this long to get around to writing about it because … you know. 2020.

It should be stated for the record that I am not a queer Black teenage girl, I’m not here to speak for anyone out there who is, and yet somehow I related harder to this story than anything I’ve read in … years.

Why? Because I, too, was once a teen struggling to figure out who she was while being told who I could and could not be.

Continue reading “Why YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN Was the Most Important Book I Read in 2020”

The World Will Try to Break Your Creative Spirit. Sometimes, It Will Succeed.

I didn’t realize I was losing hold of my emotional health until something pushed me off the edge of “fine.”

2020 was a very, very bad year. For all of us.

I will never refer to this period in history as “good.” Nothing “good” has come from all this. Good things did happen to many people unrelated to the bad, sure. Hopefully you were one of them.

However, there is one thing that tragedy after tragedy can lead to for those willing to listen: It does have the power to remind us what matters most. What we really care about. What we really stand for in this life. What we can and will do anything to change, to preserve, to save.

I, for example, was quite unkindly reminded that creativity and emotion are vitally linked. Strong emotions fuel creative expression, which inspires strong emotions, and ideally, the cycle continues.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

Like the rest of you, I had big plans for 2020. And even after lockdown, after the many awful things that followed, I didn’t realize I was losing hold of my emotional health until something came along to give me one final push off the edge of “fine.”

Continue reading “The World Will Try to Break Your Creative Spirit. Sometimes, It Will Succeed.”

Novelty Revisions Is Going On Hiatus

It’s going to take a long time to return to where I was — writing a lot, and often. And loving it.

Yesterday was the first time I’d written something in over two weeks — possibly the longest break from writing I’ve taken in years.

It took two hours to write 500 words. But I wrote them.

It’s going to take a long time to return to where I was — writing a lot, and often. And loving it.

I started this blog because of my love for writing and my hope that I could share what I was learning with other aspiring writers such as myself. Inspiring creators and offering hope to the down and discouraged has become a passion I never expected to discover from an 11-year-old blog.

Right now, though I know that passion and excitement will return in time, it’s buried deep beneath a barely manageable amount of pain and mistrust and uncertainty.

Putting myself out there right now, even through words, is extremely difficult and draining. I deeply value myself and my work and what I have to offer all of you. But certain recent events have forced me to question what writing really means to me. How it’s meant to fit into my life moving forward. Where I want to take it. How I want to use it.

To continue on pretending I have the confidence and stamina to offer help and advice to writers would be dishonest, if behind the screen I didn’t myself believe my words held any meaning.

I care about all of you and want to do whatever I can to help you succeed.

But not right now.

I will return — in a week? A month? A year? I don’t know.

I’ve lost my spark.

And I won’t return until I’ve found it again.

Take care of yourselves. Keep writing. Don’t give up.

But if you need to take a break … take a break. I doubt you’ll regret it.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.

12 Things Writers Can Actually Control

4. Whether or not you submit your work to an editor, publisher, agent, or publication — and when.

1. What you write about on your own time.

2. Your writing goals.

3. Whether or not you decide to write instead of doing … literally anything else.

4. Whether or not you submit your work to an editor, publisher, agent, or publication — and when.

Continue reading “12 Things Writers Can Actually Control”

10 Things All Writers Must Learn About Rejection

2. It hurts because you care. Because you’re passionate about your work. You genuinely want to succeed.

1. It happens to everyone — but that doesn’t mean you have to pretend it doesn’t bother you.

2. It hurts because you care. Because you’re passionate about your work. You genuinely want to succeed.

3. It’s not always because you did something “wrong.” Sometimes, e.g., a pitch and a magazine just don’t match.

4. You will not bounce back from rejection the same way every time. Each will affect you differently. And that’s OK.

Continue reading “10 Things All Writers Must Learn About Rejection”