10 Reasons Writing Suddenly Feels a Lot Harder Than Usual

4. It’s been a while since you took a “real” break.

1. You’re writing something new. It comes with its own challenges, but it doesn’t mean you’re suddenly a “bad” writer.

2. Honestly? Life may have gotten stupid and you’re just now realizing you need to take a step back and deal with that. (And that’s OK. Life will do that sometimes.)

3. You’re trying to tell a story that isn’t as easy to tell as you thought it would be. And maybe that’s a good thing.

4. It’s been a while since you took a “real” break.

Continue reading “10 Reasons Writing Suddenly Feels a Lot Harder Than Usual”

12 Reasons Self-Editing Is the Best Writing Coach

5. It forces you to not only recognize your own mistakes, but also to learn how to fix them.

1. You’re already your worst critic. Who better to scrutinize your words than the person who wrote them?

2. It’s not that we CAN’T see the flaws in our own work. We just don’t LIKE IT.

3. As you learn to separate writing and revising, you gain the discipline necessary to excel at both.

4. At some point, you have to learn to laugh at yourself, and how many times you use the same word/phrase over and over and over and over …

Continue reading “12 Reasons Self-Editing Is the Best Writing Coach”

Make All the Writing Plans You Want

But don’t expect everything to go exactly according to those plans.

In my mind, everything was perfect. As most grand plans often seem to be.

I was going to graduate high school at 17, and college at 20. I was going to get a degree like everyone expected me to. But my real plan was to spend as much time and effort as it took to make my biggest dream of all come true: I was going to publish a novel by the time I turned 22.

I won’t get into the specific reason for that five-year deadline. Just know that at the time it seemed like the perfect span of time. Just enough to do what I knew many would consider impossible.

My plans were flawless. Their outcomes were going to give me everything I’d ever wanted — and more.

There’s just one problem with plans.

They almost always look one way in your imagination and something completely different in the real world.

Continue reading “Make All the Writing Plans You Want”

This Is the Turning Point in Your Beginning | The Blank Page

Beginners’ fatigue will always lead you to a life-changing decision: Walk away, or push through?

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.


About four months into learning the violin, I stopped playing.

Not forever. But for long enough that there were days I worried I would never take my instrument out of its case again. Worried that I would never hold it, never care for it, never feel the things I felt when I made music with it.

Why did I stop?

It wasn’t because I suddenly hated it — in fact, the longer I went without playing, the more I missed it. Admittedly, it also wasn’t because I didn’t have time. Everyone has 10 spare minutes somewhere in the day to dedicate to refining their craft; every minute counts.

I wasn’t bored. I wasn’t suddenly preoccupied with another hobby. I was fatigued.

I think there comes a point in most creators’ journeys where they hit a wall. They WANT to keep going. They WANT to improve. Desperately.

And maybe that’s the problem.

Continue reading “This Is the Turning Point in Your Beginning | The Blank Page”

When Did We Become Too Scared to Dream?

Where did that fear come from — that worry that the bigger the dream, the more impossible?

I don’t spend much time talking about my aspirations.

You might see me post a lot about my goals on social media — mostly because I can’t stand disappointing people, and telling the void I’m going to write a novel makes it much more likely that I will actually finish writing that novel. Hey, whatever works, right?

But honestly? I would much rather spend all the time I could be talking about writing … you know. Actually writing.

So because I don’t dwell much on what I want to do with my life (there are many things … I guess I’m one of “those” people), when people do ask me about my dream career, I hesitate.

And then I start to doubt myself.

And then I find myself wondering: Is this actually what I want to do? Or am I just saying what other people want to hear?

I’m not ashamed of the fact that I have big dreams. If asked, I’ll usually talk freely about them. But sometimes I question my own desires, as if simply dreaming up some giant possibility for my unpredictable future is enough to convince me it could never happen.

Where did that fear come from — that worry that the bigger the dream, the more impossible?

Continue reading “When Did We Become Too Scared to Dream?”

I’m an Editor. Here are 10 Things I Really Need Writers to Know.

3. If you’ve ever gotten a short, seemingly cold response from an editor, it was probably the 20th one they sent that day and they really just wanted to log off and eat tacos.

1. Editors are not spell-checkers. Many editors proofread copy, but really don’t appreciate it when you’ve very obviously submitted your first draft.

2. Editors don’t always have time to give you detailed feedback. It’s nothing personal. We just have a lot to do and never enough time to do it all.

3. If you’ve ever gotten a short, seemingly cold response from an editor, it was probably the 20th one they sent that day and they really just wanted to log off and eat tacos. Again, nothing personal.

4. We love our jobs. Our jobs are just extremely mentally and emotionally draining.

Continue reading “I’m an Editor. Here are 10 Things I Really Need Writers to Know.”

11 Strategies I Use When My Motivation to Write Disappears

Because it happens a lot. Yes, really.

1. Separate the “have to” from the “want to.” Sometimes you can’t focus on an assignment with a deadline until you officially set aside (just for now) the fun writing thing you’d rather be doing … or non-writing thing.

2. Write down everything that is distracting you, whether it’s a thought, an idea, or something you’d “rather be doing” that isn’t writing-related. Just get it all out in the open.

3. Look at your “I’d rather be doing this thing” list. Think of how much more you’d enjoy that thing if you saved it until after you finished your writing for the day.

4. Be honest with yourself about why you “don’t want to” write. Are you tired? Bored? Scared? Unsure? Check in with yourself and acknowledge — maybe even tackle head-on — your own feelings.

Continue reading “11 Strategies I Use When My Motivation to Write Disappears”

10 Surprising Things I Learned About Writing Just in the Past 100 Days

3. Kindness will get you farther in your journey as a writer than you think.

1. The stories you feel called to tell aren’t necessarily the easiest to write. But they are the ones that touch others’ hearts and lives the most.

2. Just because you enjoy doing something doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you’re “allowed” to do.

3. Kindness will get you farther in your journey as a writer than you think.

4. People who don’t agree with your words aren’t necessarily interested in having their mind changed. If your words didn’t do it initially, they probably won’t do so after the fact either.

Continue reading “10 Surprising Things I Learned About Writing Just in the Past 100 Days”

12 Reasons Writers Don’t Always Act Like They Love Their Jobs (But We Do!)

4. For some reason, people are mostly willing to compensate writers … just not with decent pay, and sometimes not even with money! Woo!

1. Not every writing job entails only writing. Like with any job, there are sometimes parts of their work a writer just doesn’t enjoy. Sometimes those parts become the majority of their day, and they just have to deal.

2. We mostly just get emails and tweets about typos and things we did wrong. We don’t often hear positive feedback. It’s there, but it’s not as frequent.

3. Everyone’s always asking us “when we’re going to publish a book.” They don’t ever ask how it’s going, or what the process is like, or how we’re feeling.

4. For some reason, people are mostly willing to compensate writers … just not with decent pay, and sometimes not even with money! Woo!

Continue reading “12 Reasons Writers Don’t Always Act Like They Love Their Jobs (But We Do!)”

10 Reminders for Writers Having a Hard Time Handling the Pressure Right Now

5. It’s acceptable not to be exceptional right now.

1. Just because people you know are keeping pace with their writing, publishing, and seem to be doing fine doesn’t mean you’re required to do the same.

2. You may have deadlines, but sometimes deadlines have to move when you can’t.

3. If your heart’s not in a particular project right now, it’s OK to set it aside while you focus on something else.

4. Anyone who expects you to be on top of your game all the time isn’t worth impressing.

Continue reading “10 Reminders for Writers Having a Hard Time Handling the Pressure Right Now”