These Are the 12 Worst Reasons to Start a Blog

If any of these are your only reason(s) for wanting to start a blog, don’t.

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1. Revenge.

2. Because you’re bored.

3. It sounds like fun!

4. Because you probably can’t get published without one. (You can.)

5. You’re applying for a job, don’t have a blog yet, and think starting one now will impress an editor/hiring manager.

6. To “make a difference.” (You really have to be more specific than that.)

7. To get rich.

8. To start something “unique.”

9. To get famous.

10. Your friends/family/pets think you should.

11. Because a writing expert said you had to.

12. Because everyone else is doing it and that must mean you have to.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

This Might Be the Real Reason You Keep Procrastinating

This might explain it.

It took me years to learn that procrastination isn’t something you have to stop doing.

But it took me even longer to figure out WHY I couldn’t get my destructive habit under better control.

Constant flare-ups of anxiety and panic could have been avoided if I’d just start things earlier, instead of waiting until the last minute.

Why was that so hard?

It turns out there’s a reason I still struggle. And it might be the reason you’re struggling, too.

I can’t break up big projects into small pieces. At least, not very well.

It’s one of my top writing productivity tips, yet I still struggle with it almost daily.

If I’m going to sit down to work on a 10-page story, for example, I want to sit down, write those 10 pages in one sitting or one day, and be done with it. I don’t want to keep coming back to it. I don’t like my flow being disrupted. Once I start deep-focusing, I don’t want to stop.

Writing is a work in progress all around. I’m getting better little by little, just like you.

I wait until the last minute to do things because it’s often the only point I can convince myself to finally make the time to do what I need to do by blocking off a large enough chunk of time to do it in.

It is a bad habit. I will not deny that.

But it explains why, even though I’ve technically been writing professionally for almost seven years, I still wait until the last minute to START things.

I always get them done on time and I always do them well. I just put unnecessary pressure on myself to do the work because I like doing things all at once instead of in parts.

If this is your problem too, you might be wondering how to overcome this barrier to writing productivity.

I wish there was some magic formula or a special set of instructions I could give you to instantly transform your procrastination habit into something more manageable. The only thing I can really tell you to do is train yourself to do your work in pieces, even if that’s not the way you want to do it.

I’ve done this in the past with NaNoWriMo. In 2017 I wrote a solid 2,000+ words a day for 30 straight days just to see if I could. If anything, that experience reminded me that I CAN do things in small segments every day. I just choose not to 99% of the time.

Find ways to practice when the pressure isn’t so high. Don’t do it at your job if you can help it, for example, just in case your trial strategy doesn’t work out. Try to set a word-count goal for a longer project on your own time and break that up into smaller daily or weekly word count goals, and reach for one small goal at a time until you finish.

Over time, it can become a habit. A much better habit than waiting until four hours before your final 15-page graduate school paper is due to start writing.

Not that I know what that’s like or anything. Nope.

Maybe this isn’t your problem at all. I don’t know you. I can’t read your mind.

But I think all of us are searching for simple fixes to our biggest problems, even if they aren’t life-threatening or hurting our relationships with loved ones or making us hate what we do. I hope admitting I struggle with seemingly small things too, and admitting that knowing the right thing to do isn’t necessarily enough, can help anyone who might need to hear these words today.

Now I’m off to stop procrastinating. I mean it this time. Really.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

3 Things Readers Have Taught Me Since Starting My Blog

I thought people wanted to be taught how to write books. I was wrong.

“How do I get more followers on my blog?”

The answer people don’t want to hear is: Write what people want to read.

It’s more complicated than this. You can’t always just do it for “the people.” But as the years have gone on and I’ve stuck with blogging month after month after month, I’ve learned a lot about how to build an audience.

In the beginning, I thought I knew everything I needed to know. I was wrong.

My audience has taught me a lot about what writers look for when they’re hunting for writing advice. When I really started paying attention to people’s comments, I realized that what most people came to my blog in search of — and what made many of them stay — wasn’t the writing advice I necessarily wanted to give. But now, it’s advice I’m happy to provide.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Most people care about themselves more than anything else

People don’t want to read about my successes and failures unless there’s a takeaway in that story for them. I think this is why so many bloggers who post in a more ‘personal essay’ format can’t get readers. They make it all about them because that’s how we’re wired, but they don’t stop to think that other people also only think about themselves — at least, foremost.

Weirdly, you have to think outside yourself to help other people the most. It’s not actually about you, even if you write from your perspective. I wrote an entire post about how I landed my first full-time writing job awhile ago. But the post wasn’t about me getting my first “real” job. It showed readers what they might expect from the drawn-out interview process for an online writing job. It was about them. Not me.

Most writing roadblocks have nothing to do with writing

People don’t tell me they don’t know what to write about or that they don’t know how to write their story. They tell me they can’t get themselves to sit down to write something. They get bored once they’ve started. There’s too much going on in their personal lives and writing can’t ever come first.

In a lot of ways, writing is like trying to eat healthy. It’s not that you don’t know which healthy foods to eat or which junk foods to avoid. You eat the unhealthy food (you avoid writing) because you haven’t straightened out the things in your life driving you to eat junk (not write). You can’t solve the secondary problem until you get a handle on the primary one first. You can’t fix your writing schedule until you fix what’s going on inside your head.

Most people don’t want to be told how to write

They want to be told how to get writing done. How to get people to read what they write. How to get things they will write/have written published. Most people are either pretty confident in their ability to write well or know they aren’t great but are trying to do better. They want someone to tell them they’re not worthless and that they can succeed.

This took me a long time to figure out. My early blog posts focused on teaching people how to write good stories, how to choose the right genres, how to construct a good product. But what most writers wanted more than that was to feel inspired. To read words that made them feel motivated or understood or less alone. So many people struggle to write because of poor self-worth and other issues I can’t fix for them. Most of the time they just want to feel like someone can get into their headspace and put into words what they’re thinking and feeling.

Yes, there are blogs and websites and courses out there who attract thousands of people looking for writing instruction. I’m not saying no one wants it. My audience just doesn’t come here for that. That’s OK.

My blog posts aren’t what they used to be. They’re written from my perspective and experiences as a writer, but with the purpose of serving other people. They’re focused on helping others overcome their personal writing barriers. And they’re not even really about writing. They’re about life as a writer. How to tackle obstacles. How to celebrate failure and success. How to keep going when you’d rather quit.

The lesson here (see?) is that it takes a long time to figure out what your specific audience wants before you really start giving them the content they’re hungry for. I’m about to hit my 10-year blogging anniversary. I’d say it took me about six of those years to start paying attention to the posts people resonated with the most.

These things take time. If your audience isn’t growing, it might be because you’re not quite giving them what they need. And if your purpose isn’t to help other people, then it’s OK if you don’t triple your followers in a year or two. A small, loyal audience who returns to your blog to read what you have to say is better than having thousands of followers who read maybe one post every six months.

Figure out what you want. Then what your audience wants. Decide how you can serve both of your needs and create something everyone can enjoy. If you’re in it for the audience, it has to be mostly about them. That might not be what you want to hear. But I’m not one to sugar-coat the truth. It’s my brand, I guess?


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

12 Things Writing Experts Almost Never Tell Aspiring Creatives

It’s time for some tough love.

1. Their way is not the best or only way.

2. You don’t have to be a bestselling author to be a successful writer.

3. Most people aren’t interested in your story until after you’ve actually written it.

4. Talking about what you’re going to do instead of actually doing it isn’t productive at all.

5. No two writers achieve similar goals within the same time frame.

6. Most of the time, rejection doesn’t come with a clear reason. You just have to keep writing anyway.

7. Stop making excuses. If you can’t write, it’s most likely your fault.

8. Writing is hard every step of the way.

9. Eighty percent of the time, it is not fun.

10. Most people who say they’re going to write something never do.

11. Writing advice won’t help you if you don’t actually make an effort to write anything.

12. Writing is a worthwhile job. But that’s what it is: a job. Take it seriously. But do it because you love it.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

Should You Only Write When You Feel Like It?

A lot of people do it. But is it a good strategy to follow?

There are days I don’t feel like writing. And I know I’m not alone.

All of us make excuses. We’re too tired. The dog needs another walk. What we ate for dinner was really good so we had seconds and now we’re really full and Netflix sounds much better than work anyway.

I’ve seen the same argument many times: You shouldn’t write when you don’t feel like it, because then your writing will be garbage and that’s a waste of energy and time.

I do not agree with this line of thinking.

I’m in the camp that believes writing should happen consistently no matter what. Not necessarily every day, but consistently. Meaning you don’t go months without writing, then write for 30 straight days, then stop for two weeks … you get the idea.

This is tough, because writing itself is an emotionally charged experience. In general, if you’re not “feeling it,” you’re not going to be able to write your best content.

But the problem most people run into here is that “not feeling like writing” halts productivity. You stop writing because, eh, you’re just not feeling it today/this week/this year.

You can’t always wait until you “feel like it.” The reality is, most of the time, you’re not going to feel like it until you start doing it. Or even while you’re doing it, on a really bad day.

Because in the long-term, what matters most isn’t that you’re always writing your best content. It’s that you’re writing something.

If it’s not good, you can either scrap it or tweak it to make it better later. People think this is a waste of time when, in reality, every “bad” thing you write teaches you how to write better in the future. Not everything you write has to or will get published.

You’ll definitely never publish anything good if you never write anything because you’re always waiting until you feel like writing to make it happen.

A lot of people might disagree with me on this point, and that’s fine. I just think you’ll waste more time always trying to write your “best” work than you will training yourself to write under all circumstances — including when you’d rather not do it.

Guess what? In the real world, it doesn’t matter if I feel like writing. If I don’t write, I lose my job. Then I don’t get paid, and well, THAT’S BAD.

Chances are, you’ll write just fine once you sit down and actually start doing it. But most people are too distracted by other things or are convinced that feeling tired or it being a Saturday always means they can’t get any writing done.

They can. They just choose not to.

I know life is hard. I face just as many productivity roadblocks as every other writer. But you can’t always let these things get in the way. I can’t tell you how to solve your own problems. I CAN, however, tell you that nothing feels better than getting your writing done even though you almost quit before you started.

Just write the things.

Heck. Just START writing the things.

Easier said than done? Yep. But writing is not easy. Welcome to the writing life! You. Got. This.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

Successful Writers Still Get Their Work Done Even When They’re Afraid of Doing It Wrong

Mistakes are essential, even if you’ve been told otherwise.

There are a lot of reasons people who say they want to “be” writers never actually become successful writers. Or writers at all.

Most of them are psychological.

People want to write, but don’t know how to overcome the mental barriers that make writing so difficult.

That’s one reason this blog morphed into what it has become. I’m a writer. I struggle with writing every day. But I’ve also learned how to make writing happen despite those struggles. And so can you.

Many people can’t write, or publish or promote their work, because they’re afraid of doing something wrong. Like the kid in class who never raises their hand even if they think they have the right answer.

I don’t like being told I’m wrong. I’m afraid of making mistakes even when doing so isn’t going to affect anyone but me. But I still wake up every morning, drink my coffee, and write All The Things anyway.

Because being wrong means you’re learning. You can’t avoid mistakes unless you make them and discover how not to make them again.

You can’t spend all your time trying to avoid mistakes you’ve never made. Writing is an experience. You can read all the books, listen to all the podcasts, subscribe to all the blogs. But if you don’t actually try your hand at writing, putting your work out there, and making yourself vulnerable, you’re never going to reach your goals. You’re never going to “be” a writer.

If you’re afraid of doing things wrong — whatever that means — start by writing on your own. It’s OK to write and not show it to anyone, especially at first. People seeing your work honestly shouldn’t be your only motivation for writing. Especially in the beginning, you have to do it with the expectation that no one is going to read it but you.

So make that a valuable practice arena for you. This is where you get to throw things against the wall and figure out what works and what doesn’t. What fits your style and what doesn’t. What you enjoy writing about and what you could go the rest of your life never writing about again.

Writers who seem like they have all the answers know the best strategies because they kept writing until they figured out what worked for them. No one knows your writing or your style better than you.

No matter what, write the way you think your story should be written. If that’s somehow wrong, you’ll figure it out later. Don’t let that fear or worry stop you before you’ve even gotten the chance to create something amazing.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

12 Reasons to Keep Writing Even When You’d Rather Do Everything Else

You can do it!

1. It only gets harder the longer you put it off.

2. Your excuses love to win. You don’t always have to let them.

3. Most people can push through 85% of their barriers if they just start writing.

4. You could start writing a future bestseller/viral hit today. You never know!

5. You like it.

6. Other people like it (or will someday).

7. Writing makes you whole.

8. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get it done, as long as it gets done.

9. In the end, you’re the only one standing in your way.

10. You won’t enjoy the thing you do instead of writing as much as you would if you waited until after you finished writing.

11. You’ll regret not doing it.

12. And you’ll feel much better once you do.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

15 Things That Probably Won’t Actually Improve Your Writing

These things might not accomplish what you want them to accomplish.

1. Researching how to get a book published when you haven’t actually started writing a book yet.

2. Obsessively perfecting your book’s outline without actually working on the book.

3. Getting up early to write even though you never actually get any writing done during that time.

4. Joining 20+ Facebook groups.

5. Asking other writers for feedback without offering to give feedback in return.

6. Always writing in a coffee shop.

7. Making sure every single one of your bios and social media accounts specify you’re an “aspiring writer.”

8. Following every writer possible on every social media platform you can remember your password to.

9. Purchasing the best writing software/apps/gadgets.

10. Always writing about the exact same thing because it’s “comfortable.”

11. Writing about writing but never actually working on your own projects.

12. Talking to anyone who will listen about every new idea that comes to you.

13. Constantly taking time off of writing to “figure out what you really want as a writer.”

14. Reading every single writing advice/self-help book ever published.

15. Worrying so much about writing a perfect first draft that you never finish writing a first draft.

Some tools, strategies, apps, and gadgets can improve your organization, help you meet deadlines, and push you toward a writing life filled with fewer distractions.

But these things won’t actually make you a better writer. After all, successful writers all have at least one thing in common: They write well. They practice, practice, and practice until they get really good at it. And then they use shiny objects to make it easier to keep practicing.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

What to Do When You Think You’ve Run Out of Things to Write About

Surprise! You can still get some writing done anyway.

When you post on the same blog daily for a year or more, you have moments when you start to doubt your ability to come up with new ideas.

It happens to all of us, whether we’re looking for an excuse to write or we know we have to get it done, but don’t know where to start.

Sometimes it feels like everyone else has some kind of superpower you don’t, always coming up with ideas you never would have thought of seemingly out of nowhere.

How do they do that?

It’s not a secret. And the truth is, you can do it, too.

Yes, there are going to be days the words just don’t come and you have other things to deal with and writing just won’t happen the way you want it to, or at all.

But I can guarantee that if you don’t let yourself give up as easily as you probably do now, you can push through it 80% of the time.

How? By writing about … your dog. Your car. Your dream vacation.

Write about a character based on someone in real life you hate.

Write something that makes you laugh. That makes you cry. That puts you in the mood you want to be in.

Write about not being able to think of anything to write about.

Most people’s largest roadblock to writing productivity is starting. And the only way to combat your inability to start writing is to start writing.

Some will argue: “But what’s the point if you’re just writing nonsense?”

Who says nonsense can’t eventually turn into something publishable? That’s how 60% of my blog posts start out. Me just rambling about a thing I’m struggling with until I figure out how to make it relatable and helpful and actionable for my audience.

If I stopped trying to write every time I wasn’t sure what the next day’s blog post was going to be about, I would have stopped blogging three years ago.

Sometimes, you won’t know what you’re going to write about until you start writing. And you won’t figure out what those first few sentences lead to unless you keep going.

Don’t worry so much about whether or not what you’re writing is “good.” You have to start somewhere. Pretty much everyone writes terrible first drafts of most things. Perfect is overrated. Just get something down on paper, and you’ve already accomplished more than the “writers” who always say they’re going to do something but never even try.

I know some days you just sit there staring at a blank page. I know that’s frustrating and probably makes you not want to bother trying at all. But take five minutes, walk away, clear your head, get a snack, come back, and don’t even hesitate. Just start. You’ll end up somewhere you probably didn’t imagine you would, and if you think about it, that’s pretty amazing.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

12 Reasons You Keep Letting Your Excuses Win

You have a lot to learn.

1. You don’t have a support system, so writing can’t always be your priority.

2. You’re easily discouraged.

3. You take failure too seriously.

4. You don’t know the difference between “tired” and “creative fatigue.” (One you can’t usually push through, the other you usually can.)

5. You don’t actually want to write, you just like the idea of having written.

6. You’re trying to write for the wrong reasons.

7. You don’t know how to manage your time.

8. You always do the least important tasks first, and leave writing until the very end.

9. You follow your distractions because you need to “relax” for “a few minutes.”

10. Life keeps getting in the way, and you keep letting it.

11. You want instant results to follow a minimum amount of effort.

12. You just haven’t figured out a writing routine that works for you yet. But you’re getting there. Slowly.


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.


Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.