12 Habits of Writers Who Sit Down and Turn Their Ideas Into Things

You’re not a writer if you don’t write. These are the habits of storytellers who act on their ideas and create — even when it’s hard.

1. They jump into (almost) every idea and give it a chance — even if it doesn’t end up working out.

2. They often spend less time planning (in the beginning) and more time actually writing.

3. They don’t worry that everything has to be perfect the first time around.

4. They use their fear as a tool instead of a roadblock.

Continue reading “12 Habits of Writers Who Sit Down and Turn Their Ideas Into Things”

When a First Draft Collects Dust On Your Hard Drive

Some stories are worth giving up everything for.

Five months.

It has been just a little over five months since I last looked at the novel draft I finished writing in September 2019.

That’s 130,000+ words’ worth of story that’s just sitting there. Untouched. Unloved. Unedited.

Why have I all but (temporarily) abandoned a story I love?

Because I am terrified.

Continue reading “When a First Draft Collects Dust On Your Hard Drive”

To Finish a First Draft, a Writer Must Learn to Work Without Motivation

If you’re low on motivation and want to know how to get through it, here’s what you need to know.

As I begin writing this, I have zero motivation to write this.

It was a rough day at my full-time job. It’s been raining for almost 12 hours straight. There are a thousand things I would rather be doing right now than sitting down to write a blog post.

But I’m sitting down to write a blog post anyway.

These opening lines aren’t intended as an excuse for me to complain about my life. There are enough people on the internet doing that for me to feel the need to join the gloomy fray. I think there is a big difference between senseless complaining and purposeful glimpses into the “real” side of life in the professional writing space.

I also think it’s extremely important to be honest about what life as a writer really looks like. Not just the good parts, but the not so great moments too. So many people want to know what it’s really like to work and live as a writer. Well … this is often what it looks like.

Sometimes you don’t feel like doing the work.

But you almost always have to do the work anyway.

If you’re low on motivation and want to know how to get through it, here’s what you need to know.

Continue reading “To Finish a First Draft, a Writer Must Learn to Work Without Motivation”

10 Things All Writers Need to Succeed (Before They Even Start Writing)

4. A goal. It doesn’t even have to be an ambitious goal.

1. A plan. Yes, writing can be spontaneous. But you need to have strategies in place for how you’re going to fit writing into your schedule before you begin.

2. A deadline. Some people don’t work great under pressure, and if so, maybe this won’t be your go-to strategy. But some people really need to know they’re working on a timeline, even if it’s a timeline they’ve created for themselves.

3. All the snacks. Seriously. Creativity requires fuel.

4. A goal. It doesn’t even have to be an ambitious goal. “Write five days in a row” is a great goal even if it’s a small one. Everyone has to start somewhere!

Continue reading “10 Things All Writers Need to Succeed (Before They Even Start Writing)”

I’m Not (Technically) a Published Author, and That’s OK

Maybe the way we define “published author” has changed.

I love giving writing advice. I love offering tips and encouragement in hopes it will help aspiring writers tell the stories they want to tell and achieve their dreams of becoming “real” writers.

I also know that I’m not always the best writing advice-provider out there. That used to really bother me. It doesn’t so much anymore. Usually.

It’s not that my advice can’t help the struggling or discouraged creator. It’s just that, in a nutshell, there are a lot of people more qualified on paper to give this kind of advice than I am.

Despite the fact that I’ve been blogging for over a decade, and I’ve published hundreds of articles across various sites as a freelancer and staff writer over the past seven years, I’m “technically” not a published author. At least, not in the traditional sense.

I’ve written plenty of book drafts. More than I can count. I have a degree in analyzing and writing about published works. But aside from some self-published work that I’m not totally proud of, I don’t have a book available for purchase anywhere. You can’t go to a bookstore and find a book I’ve written or find anything when you search my name. At least, not yet anyway.

Obviously, this hasn’t stopped me from continuing to do everything I can to help other writers get to that point. There’s almost a stigma though, if you will, toward writers who aren’t “authors” as we generally know them. Should there be?

Maybe the way we define “published author” has changed enough in recent decades that you no longer need to have a published novel to your name to be considered credible. In some contexts, anyway. Or not.

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Doubt Is the Best Thing That Will Ever Happen to You | The Blank Page

It will happen to you. Are you ready for it?

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.


It will happen to you.

You will sit down at your computer one day, open up a blank document, fully prepared to start writing something new, and a question will pop into your head that you’ve never asked yourself before.

“What if all this work I’m doing is all for nothing?”

This question will likely come without warning, without prompt. It might happen while you’re writing. It might happen before you even start. It might wake you suddenly in the middle of the night, bringing to question all the writing-related plans you may have had for the day ahead.

And the most terrifying thing of all?

Once this question makes itself known to you once, it will keep coming back. It will stay with you. And at first, possibly for a very long time, doubt will begin to feel like your absolute worst enemy.

But it doesn’t have to. At least, not forever.

Continue reading “Doubt Is the Best Thing That Will Ever Happen to You | The Blank Page”

The Best Time to Write Is When No One’s Reading

Every writer is afraid of something.

Every writer is afraid of something.

One of the most common fears among writers is that they will work hard on something, throw it out into the world … and everyone will absolutely hate it.

This fear is so strong that it prevents many aspiring creators from doing the work they were born to do.

You don’t have to let that happen to you, though.

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12 Things People Usually Don’t Know About Writing Before They Start

2. Sometimes the best parts of your stories are the parts you never planned.

1. The idea you start with isn’t always the story that unfolds.

2. Sometimes the best parts of your stories are the parts you never planned.

3. No one starts out writing “good” content. It’s a process.

4. Working your way up to becoming a full-time writer can take months, if not years. It doesn’t happen instantly.

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Twitter Is Distracting. It’s Also Extremely Beneficial to Aspiring Writers.

It’s taken me almost an hour to write this post, and it’s all Twitter’s fault.

It’s taken me almost an hour to write this post, and it’s all Twitter’s fault.

OK. Obviously, it’s not social media’s fault that I can’t focus. Not entirely. We’re all responsible for adapting to the various challenges we face in our lives, and learning to remain productive despite how easy it is to get lost in a Twitter thread is just one of those things that either happens eventually … or it doesn’t.

The topic of online social platforms gets a little frustrating when you look at it through a professional lens. “Writer Twitter” is quite the place to be. It’s also a place many writers feel they “need” to be — despite the fact that Twitter is, in some ways, dangerous when you’re prone to distraction.

How do you stay connected and fend off feelings of loneliness and isolation when the very outlet that could save you could also hold you back from achieving your goals?

Continue reading “Twitter Is Distracting. It’s Also Extremely Beneficial to Aspiring Writers.”

Talking About Writing Isn’t a Substitute for Actually Writing

What are you going to start writing today? Right here? Right now?

I spend a fairly significant portion of my time “talking” about writing.

When I started this blog 11 (!) years ago, I suppose I had several reasons for doing so — one of them being that, as I understood it at the time, authors had blogs. And if I wanted to be like my favorite authors someday, my best bet was to start posting on a blog. (This was 2009 and I was a little “late” to the game in many ways, but still, no regrets.)

Another reason I decided to start “talking” (writing) about writing was that I am a problem-solver, and the best way I solve problems is by writing about them. At the time, my blog didn’t serve the purpose it does now. It wasn’t “really” for other people. It very quickly became a blog other writers could benefit from, but at first, I really just posted about what I was struggling with as an aspiring writer and what I planned to do to deal with those problems.

One of the most important things I learned through my early blogging experience is also one of the most important things every aspiring writer should learn at some point: If you’re serious about “being a writer,” you actually have to spend a significant amount of time … writing.

Continue reading “Talking About Writing Isn’t a Substitute for Actually Writing”