12 Reasons You’re Not Getting Any Better at This Whole Writing Thing

What does “better” even mean, anyway?

1. You have no personal definition of what “better” actually means for you.

2. You want an end result without having to do the amount or intensity of work required to get that result.

3. You’re not putting in the “practice” time.

4. You’re spending way too much time worrying about SEO and not enough leveling up your writing quality.

5. You’re focusing on quantity instead of quality.

6. You can’t get any work done because you’re obsessing over not doing it perfectly.

7. You’re not writing consistently. E.g., you write for a week, stop for six months, then wonder why you haven’t accomplished anything.

8. You’re not setting — and therefore not meeting — writing goals.

9. You keep saying, “I’m not good at writing!” but you never stop to think about how you could change that.

10. You’re worried about what to do with your finished product before you’ve even finished (or started) it.

11. You’re making excuses and/or blaming other people/things for your lack of accomplishments.

12. You actually are — it’s just hard to see gradual improvement over time. Hang in there. You’re doing fine.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.


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5 thoughts on “12 Reasons You’re Not Getting Any Better at This Whole Writing Thing

  1. Number 7 is my worst enemy. I’m going to go and write and schedule my new blog post for release in the morning. Since I’ve begun, yet again a new blog and haven’t touched it for almost 1 month and half. Again.

    Also, where did you get such a detailed list of everything I was doing wrong?! :P

  2. Thank you for this post! I do tend to obsess over making sure things are perfect. I overly question myself and my abilities, which I know is a horrible thing to do. This makes me, my own worst enemy!

  3. #12 is probably the trickiest, the idea that even when you’re doing all the right things, you may not see signs confirming it. To quote Star Trek, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.”
    I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s good to have a hobby or two that provide more immediate and reliable positive feedback, i.e. crafting, games, etc.

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