There Will Always Be Someone Better at Writing Than You — That’s a Good Thing

The only ‘real’ competition in writing involves competing with yourself. 

We’ve all heard the mantra “there will always be someone better than you.” It stings because it’s true. No matter how hard we work, there will always be at least one person that’s just seemingly so far above our level that we lose hope of ever catching them.

But maybe catching them isn’t the end goal. Maybe it’s the exact kind of challenge we need to keep ourselves motivated to do better.

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Treat Your Writing Like ‘Real’ Work If You Want to Succeed

Having an end goal can help you make writing more of a priority.

There is nothing wrong with treating writing as a hobby. There is nothing wrong with treating it as your full-time job either, even when it technically isn’t.

However, how you treat your writing time — how “serious” of an approach you apply to your writing sessions and schedules — can have a direct impact on how many of your writing goals you are able to achieve, and how efficiently (or not) you are able to achieve them.

What happens when you put as much work into your writing as you do your ‘real’ job — even when it isn’t?

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Having More Time to Write Doesn’t Necessarily Make It Easier to Write

Time is a writer’s worst enemy, even when you have enough of it.

We’re not here to talk specifically about what’s going on in the world right now. We’re all aware. Just as much as I’m aware that a lot of you coming to this blog are looking for things to read that aren’t about the state of things. I not only respect that — I also wholeheartedly agree with it.

But it would be irresponsible to not take a few minutes to talk about time. Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves with a lot more “free time” than we anticipated. This can be a good thing — many of us are doing our best to make the most of it, if and when we can. It can also be a struggle, though.

So many people are talking about how they suddenly have more time to write than they ever have before. Yay! It’s exciting, or it can be. But let’s at least acknowledge the fact that just because you might find yourself with more time at the moment doesn’t mean writing is magically going to become easier.

What can you do to cope with that? I have some ideas.

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9 Questions Your Family Will Probably Ask You About Your Writing At Some Point

1. “So what is it that you write about, exactly?”

1. “So what is it that you write about, exactly?” (Oh God. Uh, is ‘everything’ an appropriate answer to this question? Listen, your curiosity in my everyday endeavors is greatly appreciated and I love you, but also, how dare you.)

2. “Can I send you something I wrote? Maybe you could give it a quick once-over.” (……………Sure.)

3. “Oh you write. Have you read [insert book by famous author]?” (Insert long drawn-out story about how I didn’t read a Stephen King book until I was 27 and I was doing just fine before that actually haha.)

4. “I’ve always wanted to write but can’t ever find time. How do you do it?” (Step one: Cry. Step two: Accept that I’ll never be up-to-date on all pop culture references known to other members of my generation. Step three: Talk about how I never have enough time to write. Step four: …)

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When You Learn Writing Gets Lonely | The Blank Page

There are more benefits to writing alone — and even being lonely, in some contexts — than you might think.

The Blank Page is a new weekly series on Novelty Revisions dedicated to any writer who is just beginning their journey or starting again after a long pause. Check back every Monday for more tips and inspiration.


Writing — and being a writer — is as fulfilling and worthwhile as it often sounds. There are downsides to every hobby and profession. Writing is also exhausting, sometimes overwhelming and frustrating. But that just makes the entire experience worth the occasional struggle.

Something that isn’t talked about enough is writing and its relation to socialization — mainly that you don’t always understand how lonely writing can be until you experience it firsthand.

It must be discouraging to finally dive into the hobby that could one day become your dream job, only to realize how isolating and lonely it can feel. Especially on days writing is more of a struggle and you wish you had someone to talk with about your frustrations.

There are more benefits to writing alone — and even being lonely, in some contexts — than you might think. Even as a writer who’s just starting out and getting the hang of things.

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Why Every Writer Needs to Make Time for ‘Free Thinking’

When we’re operating to the beat of some kind of soundtrack, we’re aware of our thoughts. But it’s not always possible to notice when some of those thoughts have the potential to turn into ideas.

It’s very rare I’m doing anything around my house without background noise. And I know I’m not the only one.

Sometimes it’s a podcast. Other times, an audiobook. When I’m running, I listen to music. Sometimes I have a video playing while I’m playing in the basement with the dog.

When we’re operating to the beat of some kind of soundtrack, we’re aware of our thoughts. But it’s not always possible to notice when some of those thoughts have the potential to turn into ideas.

And that’s a problem.

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12 Tips for Writing When You Feel Like You’ve Run Out of Good Ideas

4. Do something creative that doesn’t involve writing for five minutes, then go back to writing.

1. Take a “good” idea you’ve previously had and start writing a similar story, but with a twist.

2. Start rewriting your favorite story someone else is written but tell the story how “you” want to tell it.

3. Try stream of consciousness writing — set a timer for five minutes and just write instantly what comes to mind for those five minutes. Don’t even stop to think, just write.

4. Do something creative that doesn’t involve writing for five minutes, then go back to writing. Inspiration comes from unlikely places as long as you put yourself in a position to receive it.

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10 Signs Writing Success Is Actually Closer Than You Think

3. You’ve learned how to handle constructive criticism and you’re able to use it to improve your writing.

1. You’ve finally reached the point where you don’t care how much people judge you for saying you want writing to be your full-time job/more than just a hobby.

2. You still share your work even when it’s scary/you’re not sure if it’s “good enough.”

3. You’ve learned how to handle constructive criticism and you’re able to use it to improve your writing.

4. You’ve established a set writing schedule you know works. You might not always follow it line by line, but when you do, you’re right on track.

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11 Small Writing Exercises That Can Still Improve Your Writing Skills

Writing doesn’t always have to be big and complicated.

1. Writing emails to editors, publishers, potential employers, and anyone with whom you need to communicate clearly and concisely.

2. Using writing prompts in your daily practice, even if you only write for five or 10 minutes at a time.

3. Writing letters you’ll never actually send to the intended sender. (This is a wonderful go-to when you’re really mad at someone but it would be very unprofessional to tell them so.)

4. Writing scenes from different characters’ perspectives just to get inside each of their heads a little.

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10 Important Reminders for Writers Who Have No Idea What They’re Doing

1. None of us do.

1. None of us do.

2. What you’re “doing” actually changes sometimes — writing is a more diverse, unpredictable hobby/profession than you might think.

3. To question your purpose and why you’re doing something is to force yourself to remember where your true passions reside.

4. Believe it or not, there is no real “rule book” for writing. In most cases, you make your own rules.

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