The Revision Stage Is Supposed to Be Hard

Throughout revisions, you struggle, sure. But you also discover, and learn, and grow.

Even though this blog will continue posting as normal about the usual topics during this time, I just want you to know that no matter who you are, even if I don’t know you, you matter to me. I’m doing everything I can to amplify the voices that need to be heard right now on the appropriate platforms. Stay safe. Keep going. And take care of yourself.

And please consider being part of the solution.


When I finished the first draft of my current work-in-progress last year (yep — these things take YEARS), I was OK with my choice to kill off a main character. But I didn’t know if that choice was the right one.

More specifically, I didn’t know if the death was a conscious decision that sent a clear message … or just a dramatic event that added to the “wow” factor of the story.

And that question circled around in my mind for months. “Is this death serving a greater purpose?”

I was scared that it wasn’t. And so even though I had all the time in the world to start the revision process … I didn’t.

All because I was being forced to deeply analyze my own story. And I wasn’t sure I would like what I might find if I fully leaned in.

But this is the way of the revision.

We don’t always like it. But we can’t avoid it forever.

Continue reading “The Revision Stage Is Supposed to Be Hard”

How You Know You’ve Found Your Calling | The Blank Page

Some days you might feel like your motivation to keep writing no longer exists. But these are the days that can show you just how meaningful a place writing holds in your life and in your heart.

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.


I know I was lucky to grow up confident in having a passion for writing.

There are people who spend years — decades, even — trying to pin down exactly what it is that makes them feel fulfilled, something they can do with their time to change lives and the world.

But while I spent many years aware that writing as a passion I strongly identified with, writing was not MY passion.

There came a point when I had to sit myself down and ask a pretty serious question: “Is writing really what you want to spend the rest of your life doing?”

And briefly — very briefly — I stopped writing.

Only then did I realize what it felt like to be called to something, to know deep inside myself that I could not live without putting words to paper.

That was my new beginning. That was truly the start of my serious journey toward making writing a career.

If you’re doubting yourself as a beginning writer, here’s what you need to know.

Continue reading “How You Know You’ve Found Your Calling | The Blank Page”

Writing Through Your Feelings Helps More Than Just You

Right now, the aching and hunger for change in our world spans far beyond what words can describe. But now is the time to remember that your words have power.

There are things we do not discuss on this blog. I do my very best to keep it within its intended boundaries. If you are here, it is because you are a writer hoping to make a difference with your words.

Right now, the aching and hunger for change in our world spans far beyond what words can describe. But as I just wrote, you are probably reading this blog because words matter to you, and you want the words you write to matter to other people.

Now is the time to remember that your words have power.

It may start with the words you write only for your eyes. But it can expand further. If you want it to.

Continue reading “Writing Through Your Feelings Helps More Than Just You”

12 Writing Truths You’ll Learn As You Grow

2. A rejection is not a failure — it’s a motivator.

1. There will always be someone better than you at the thing you want to be the best at — and that’s OK.

2. A rejection is not a failure — it’s a motivator.

3. Rejection is also a positive sign that you’re actively trying to get a gig or job or opportunity.

4. Sometimes when people tell you they like your work, they actually mean it.

Continue reading “12 Writing Truths You’ll Learn As You Grow”

11 Reasons Writers Should Never Take Their Mentors for Granted

4. To learn from someone with unique, prolonged experience is a blessing not everyone gets to experience.

1. Their words — and the lessons packaged within them — will stay with you for years to come.

2. Even when you start to think they’ve taught you everything, new lessons emerge.

3. They’re here to help you grow. Be willing to grow, and they’ll grow, too.

4. To learn from someone with unique, prolonged experience is a blessing not everyone gets to experience.

Continue reading “11 Reasons Writers Should Never Take Their Mentors for Granted”

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?”