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.

12 Reminders for the Writer on Hiatus — But Not By Choice

We don’t always choose to take a break. Sometimes stepping away is a necessity, not an option.

1. You need this break.

2. You’re exhausted, or unwell, or your energy and time are needed elsewhere.

3. You are not a failure, you are not lazy, you are not weak.

4. In fact, creators who know their limits are probably the strongest and most successful of them all.

Continue reading “12 Reminders for the Writer on Hiatus — But Not By Choice”

12 Struggles All Successful Writers Eventually Learn to Work Through

It’s OK to struggle! As long as you don’t give up.

1. Being afraid to put your work out there. Like, it’s still scary most if not all of the time, but you get used to just dealing with it and doing it anyway! YAY FEAR!

2. Not knowing what to write about. (You eventually learn to either “just write anyway” or put in many practice hours into refining the art of “just

3. Determining which ideas are good and worth pursuing and which are not. It takes time to get the hang of this one, but as long as you remember that even bad ideas aren’t completely useless, you’ll be just fine.

4. Finishing what you start. There are going to be plenty of projects you start but never get around to finishing, but you’ll learn to make the ones you finish truly count — while also learning from the things you leave behind.

Continue reading “12 Struggles All Successful Writers Eventually Learn to Work Through”

How to Write Stories That Scare You

Some stories are just meant to be written.

I was not prepared to start writing another book. In fact, the idea of abandoning one project for another was so ridiculous that when the idea approached me I actually laughed out loud in an empty room … to myself.

“No,” I said. “Go away. I’m busy.”

I actually spoke these words, as if saying them out loud would convince the idea before me that it truly was not welcome here.

The trick did not work, of course. I am a busyness addict (not proud, just stating a fact). I never claim to be too busy for anything, especially when it comes to writing.

So what was really going on inside my head?

The truth — as much as I can reveal to you at this particular moment in time — was that as the idea began unfolding in my mind, taking up more space, expanding inside me to fill all the empty space reserved for random and passive thoughts, I quickly came to the realization that if I were to give it the level of attention it begged for, I would be heading into something I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle.

What I learned, not long after that, is that fear is strong. But so am I.

Continue reading “How to Write Stories That Scare You”

Why Do Some Readers Give Writers Such Harsh Feedback?

Okay but did you have to say it like THAT?

There isn’t a writer I know who isn’t even just a little curious about what others think of their work.

Most writers don’t do it exclusively for the feedback, but it’s sure a nice perk. Especially when you’re lucky enough to get compliments on something you’ve written.

But if you’ve been part of any online community for any extent of time, you already know compliments aren’t the only thing you’re subject to when you publish something on the internet. In fact, it’s almost certain that if something you create gets noticed by many people, it will receive criticism.

And sometimes that criticism … just isn’t nice.

Some people can give feedback in a gentle and well-meaning way, and that’s often much appreciated. But others just skip the advice and go straight for saying hurtful things. But there’s a reason for that.

Continue reading “Why Do Some Readers Give Writers Such Harsh Feedback?”

You Don’t Have to Write Every Day — But You SHOULD Do This

It’s not great advice. But it’s often misinterpreted.

“If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day.”

This is quite possibly the most controversial piece of writing advice out there. The reason it’s so widely debated is because many people fall into the “because it worked for me, it will work for everyone” trap.

Those highly inexperienced in the realm of giving advice assume that their methods are universal, and those with little experience in the activity or topic related to that advice don’t know any better than to take it to heart.

I personally write probably about 28 days out of every month, sometimes more depending on travel plans. I have found that I am at my best creatively and dare I say spiritually when I write. Writing, for me, is like exercise. It relieves anxiety and stress, improves my mood, and motivates me to accomplish more tasks. It also makes me feel like I’m making constant progress toward my writing goals, which steadies my confidence and just overall makes me a better person.

Because of my almost daily writing schedule, I have learned how to write despite surrounding chaos, push through the pain (yes, sometimes writing is painful), and have accomplished many things I am proud of in the past year alone.

However, I have never, and will never, tell people that they “must” write every day simply because it has worked for me. That wouldn’t just be irresponsible: It would be unfair. Whether they want to admit it or not, many aspiring writers are desperate, and they’re going to cling to any advice that “promises” them success. If someone tells them they can’t be a “real” writer unless they write every day, then gosh darn it, they’re going to commit to writing every day.

This would be fine if writing every day was feasible for the general population. But it isn’t. It can actually be dangerous and destructive for people who are not used to the mental, emotional, and physical toll writing takes on you. Burnout is a hot topic right now. Do you want to know why? Because people are told they have to do something daily to form a habit, they take it literally, they go all in for a week and they completely wear themselves out.

Some take a deep breath, center themselves, and keep going. But many don’t. Many are scarred by that experience and they don’t go back to it again.

It’s like someone who hasn’t done a workout in two years trying to run five miles every day for a month. You’re not going to make it. You might actually hurt yourself trying.

So no. Writing every day is not an effective strategy for everyone. If you do it and it works for you, great. If you don’t think you can handle it, then don’t force yourself. It’s not the frequency of writing that matters, but the consistency.

However, just because you don’t write every day doesn’t mean you should spend your off days with your book or blog or portfolio completely on the back burner. Here’s a fun fact: You can work on a story without actually “working” on it. Yes! I mean it!

After all, all stories begin with a thought. That’s also how they grow and develop, even when you aren’t actively sitting in front of your computer typing out the words.

I’m going to use last night as an example. I had just finished the minimum amount of writing I needed to do for the day. I could have written more, but I was tired — mostly tired of sitting at my desk hunched over my keyboard. I knew I would be much more productive in the morning if I called it quits for the night.

But after I’d gotten comfortable and entered full relaxation mode, my mind began to wander back to a story I’ve been chipping away at for the past month or so. I didn’t force it, but I also didn’t try to suppress it. I sort of just sat back and let the story consume my thoughts for a little while.

I did not technically “work” on that story yesterday. I did not contribute new words to it. But I did think about it. And because of that, I have a few ideas I can work with as soon as I sit down to work on it later today.

Even if you don’t write, you should allow yourself some time every day to “meditate” with your ideas.

Think about your story. Focus on it. Spend time with it. Get to know it.

This is the kind of thought and creativity that energizes instead of exhausts. There is a big difference between sitting alone with an idea and actively pursuing it. One technically isn’t “work” and the other is. But both are healthy and productive means of channeling your creativity into something purposeful.

Every day, make the time to at least think about your stories. When people suggest that writing every day is essential, I think what they mean is that you should have your head in your craft as much as possible — every single day, if possible, even if you don’t actually write.

Is actively writing an extremely important part of the process? Yes. If you do not write, you are not a writer.

But sometimes it’s okay to just sit back and fall into your stories for a while. Chances are, you’ll emerge more excited and motivated to work on them than you were before.

Excitement and motivation often lead to writing. And that’s not a bad thing at all, is 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.

The Best of Novelty Revisions – 10-Year Anniversary Edition

My best blog posts of all time!

I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I’ve been publishing words on the same blog for over a decade. Starting out, I knew blogging would take commitment and constant motivation. But I just wasn’t sure if I had it in me until I decided to keep going.

Over the years, I’ve published some pretty terrible things. I’m not (totally) ashamed of them. But I’ve also published some pretty awesome stuff — well, you guys seem to think so, anyway.

These are the most-loved, most-viewed posts on this blog of all time, from January 11, 2009 to now. If you missed any of them along the way, make sure to give them a read. According to your fellow readers, they’re worth it!

10. What Does It Mean to Be an “Accomplished” Writer?

“Is there some kind of chart that states when you’ll officially have “made it”? We all wish there were. In reality, the “answer” is much less clear.”

9. Stop Trying to Be “The Next J.K. Rowling”

“Do you really want to follow the same path as another writer — mimicking someone else’s success story instead of creating your own?”

8. What If You Write Something No One Else is Interested in Reading?

“It would have been very easy to give up early on in my blogging journey. I say that because many people do. They’re so worried about their small audiences and whether or not what they’re saying or talking about is “interesting” to the people around them that they just quit.”

7. This Is What a Full-Time Writer’s Schedule Looks Like

“Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a writer full-time? Everyone’s schedules are different, but I thought I would take the time to show you mine.”

6. How to Juggle Multiple Writing Projects At Once

“Here are my tips for juggling multiple writing projects at once, if you’re worried about how you’re going to do that this year.”

5. You Don’t Need More Motivation to Write — You Just Need Fewer Distractions

“It’s not motivation you’re after. It’s a lack of distractions. And only you have the power to do what you have to do to put writing first, in front of the things you would much rather be doing.”

4. Many People Still Don’t Understand Writing As a Job

“As much as I sometimes wish that easy, effortless money were the outcome (you know, on those really rough days), it isn’t. For those who think otherwise, listen up. For those who are in my position, you will appreciate this rant.” 

3. All Writers Start Out Writing Terrible Things

“Need some encouragement? Here it is: You might totally suck at writing at the moment. Or not. But that’s OK, because at some point along the way, we all do.”

2. The Unexpected Power of Writing Letters You’ll Never Send

“All my thoughts and feelings – positive or negative – intensify. And then they level out. And it’s like I’ve had an hour-long heart-to-heart with someone without seeing them face-to-face or messaging them over Facebook.”

1. Pros and Cons of Writing Stories Chronologically

“Is there a right or wrong way to construct a story? Really, it depends on your preference and which parts of the story you want to focus on.”

I know I said it on Twitter, but I’ll say it again here: Thank you. Whether you’ve been reading for 10 years or 10 minutes, thank you for the support and encouragement I often forget I need to keep doing what I do. I’ve stuck with blogging for so long because of those of you who need/appreciate the words I have in my heart and the passion I have for writing and helping other writers find their own success.

I couldn’t have done any of this without you. Here’s to 10 more years.


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.

Find Someone Who Believes Your Writing Matters.

Say what you mean. Always.

Grief is strange.

It has a funny way of reminding you, at seemingly the worst possible moments, that it’s not completely gone. That it will never be gone. That with every anniversary that passes, that dull ache will return — even just for a moment — and suddenly it will feel like no time has passed at all.

I told this story in a Project for Awesome video a few years ago — maybe one reason I feel so weary and shaken as I type this. I just find it so unbelievable that five years later it still hurts that he’s not here.

I’m not sure I would have become a writer professionally if it weren’t for my high school creative writing teacher. He was my mentor. He made me believe I could write for real because he genuinely believed I could.

Imagine being 17 years old and having someone tell you you’re going to make it and mean it. That’s life-changing. Imagine waking up every morning and being excited to write because you knew one day you’d be able to not only dedicate a book to this person, but you’d be able to hand them a signed hardcover copy in person and thank them for being so kind and inspiring.

Imagine waking up one morning and being told that person is gone forever.

What do you do when the person who believed in you goes away? You get up. You keep trying. Maybe one day you actually do all the things they said you would. But not right away. Because first you have to fal apart, and get mad at everything, and cry so hard you lose your voice. Twice.

The thing is, through all this, the only thing you want is to say all the things you never said. Like “I’m sorry for not responding to your emails” and “I’m sorry I never went back home to visit” and “thank you.”

You figure out how to go on anyway. You figure out how to write through the pain. You remember how much they believed in you, and that fire just keeps burning inside you for years. Hopefully for decades.

But you never forget. You never stop thanking them, in your heart, for everything.

Every day I wish I could say thank you to him. I can’t.

So if you do have someone in your life who supports your creative efforts — in big or small ways — tell them how much it means to you. TELL THEM HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU.

And if you have yet to find that person … remember that even when there’s someone there who believes in you, you have to believe in you too. You have to believe your work is worth it. Because there won’t always be someone. All you’ll have left then is you.

Hold on to those who care. And never forget to keep going even when it feels like you’re on your own.

You write for a reason. KEEP WRITING for that reason. No matter what.


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.

Why You Shouldn’t ‘Go All In’ When Starting a New Writing Project

Does this go against the advice you’ve come to expect? Good.

The excitement you feel when you’re first starting to work on a new book, blog, or series of articles is addicting. But if you’re the kind of person who starts things but abandons them within a few months of hard work, not all hope is lost.

Here’s an unpopular slice of advice: When you’re starting a new writing project, put the least amount of effort into it as possible for the first month or so.

Seriously.

I know, I know. This goes against everything every productivity guru and writing expert has told you about rising, grinding, and keeping your head down until you make something good.

Yes, you need to be consistent — especially in the beginning.

True, you need to build a backlog of content, get a significant start on the rising action of your story, give prospective readers something to grab onto.

But even though it might seem like the best blogs, books, and similar projects spring up overnight and immediately gain traction, that’s not actually how things work.

For all you know, that blogger that just started posting last month spent the six previous ones scheduling out enough content to kickstart her site without anyone knowing.

She got excited about a new idea. But she also took her time to plan ahead and wrote posts slowly, one at a time, so she didn’t burn through her excitement until there was nothing left to keep her moving forward.

The main downside to diving headfirst into something new and hyper-producing content right away is that if you go too hard too fast, you’re going to burn out.

And I don’t just mean you’re going to end your days feeling tired, allow yourself a good night’s sleep, and pick back up right where you left off yesterday.

I mean you’re going to hit a wall. You’re going to have a really hard time getting back up. And once the excitement wears off and exhaustion kicks in, you’re much more likely to not even bother jumping back in.

Take it from someone who is prone to starting new things before thinking through how much work it’s actually going to take to not only get them off the ground, but also keep them in the air for an extended period of time.

Don’t write 20 blog posts in one week only to realize the only reason you wanted to start a blog was to get comments and likes on your posts.

Don’t write 50,000 words in one month before deciding the story isn’t worth finishing.

You’re excited. You want to capitalize on that motivation while it’s bright and hot and propelling you forward. But don’t spend all of it at once. Content creation, regardless of the type, should be a slow burn. Use your motivation to plan, to strategize, to ease in slowly.

If it’s something that truly matters to you — if it’s really meant to be — you’ll stick with it long after the initial appeal has worn off.

Pace yourself. Don’t start sprinting before you’ve even crossed the starting line. I know you’re impatient. But one of the greatest lessons a writer can learn is that not everything has to happen right now. Some of the best ideas unfold when you let them do so slowly over time.


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.