Posts in The Writing Life
How To Build a Sustainable Writing Practice

Are you tired of struggling to sit down and write? You aren’t alone.

This phenomenon is so common that jokes about writing procrastination abound around the internet. But why is it so hard to put pen to paper when you desperately long to write? The answer to this is deceptively simple: because writing isn’t easy — and neither is drumming up the motivation to complete difficult creative work.

Sure, it’s easy to throw yourself onto the blank page when you’re running on the high of inspiration, when you’ve dreamed up an exciting new scene or a story idea you can’t wait to explore. But inspiration doesn’t last forever. Eventually, the muse departs and you’re left with an unfinished manuscript you’re struggling to find the motivation to finish.

This reality doesn’t mean you’ve lost passion for your project. Writing simply isn’t all sunshine and rainbows at all times, and that’s okay. There’s a reason so many writers profess to love having written more than the act of writing itself. If your story idea still energizes and excites you, it’s worth finding a way to complete the difficult creative work to finish it.

And when inspiration wanes, that way can be found in habit.

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Defining Your Unique Writing Style & Voice


Do you know what makes you unique as a writer?

Finding your footing among a sea of storytellers can feel like an impossible task, especially in the early days of your writing journey. Every writer you encounter influences the tide, pulling you this way or that as you seek to better understand your creative identity. If you’ve ever found yourself emulating the style of the most recent book you’ve read, you know exactly what I mean.

Defining your personal writing style and voice can help you grow comfortable and confident in your work. But how do you push back against the growing tide to build that sense of identity and assurance? Grab a cuppa and settle in, writer. It’s time we had a chat!

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The Power in Finding Your Writing Team

In the aftermath of the USWNT’s World Cup victory, some of Ashlyn Harris’s Instagram stories showcased the team’s celebrations in the locker room. In them, champagne is spilled, trophies are kissed, players show off ridiculous dance moves and laugh at each other. But there’s one video among this bunch that stands out. And no, it isn’t the twerking video. It’s the one with Megan Rapinoe entering the locker room with the caption, “When you’ve been waiting for pinoe to be done with press conferences.” 

It’s clear as Rapinoe arrives that this locker room is the one place in the world she most wants to be and that the entire team wants her there, too. And it struck me as appropriate—humane, even—that the team gets to celebrate without the media watching. That after so many hours in the spotlight on the world stage, with such pressure and focus, they get to unwind with each other. They get to let down their guard—their public selves—and share their joy with the only people who fully understand it. 

There’s a lesson here for writers.


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How Introverts Can Thrive in The Online Writing Community

The online writing community can provide a world of support and encouragement in your writing journey.

But socializing and networking with fellow writers can be a daunting task, even for chatty extroverts. As a writer who leans more toward introversion, I’ve had to learn how to engage in the online writing community in a way that is comfortable to me — but that also but pushes me out of my comfort zone in a healthy way.

Today, I’d love to share with you, my fellow introverted writers, how I’ve made the most of engaging online…

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Are You At The Helm Of Your Writing Success?


When you decide to be an author, you will encounter strangers, people you consider friends, and even family who will — with the best intentions — gasp, “you should focus on your kids” or “that ship has sailed.” I’m here to tell you that ship, your ship, is docked in the harbor. It only needs three things to get you to the write destination: a captain, a fierce wind, and a push.

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Seven Tips for Writers Living With Depression

There are so many things in a writer’s life that can make finishing a novel difficult. For writers living with depression, this is especially true.

Depression can make your focus cloudy, make you feel apathetic toward things you care about, make it feel impossible to get out of bed, and altogether make your writing aspirations seem like pipe dreams. Even if writing is something you enjoy, depression can make it a miserable task, which can whittle away at your desire to do it at all. I should know. I’ve lived with depression since I was eight years old and was eventually diagnosed at fourteen.

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How New Writers Can Conquer Six Common Creative Struggles

Beginning your journey as a writer is challenging.

We’ve all faced obstacles in our writing lives — whether it’s rejection, self-doubt, criticism, or something else. We’ve all thought, “What if my novel just isn’t good enough?”. When we read great books with complex characters and fantastic plot arcs — books so engrossing we can’t put them down — we compare our novels to those amazing books. “Why would someone read my story when that author’s book is so much better?”

But that’s the thing. If you look at those authors, they’ve been writing for what — ten years? Now they have a publishing contract, an editor, beta readers, and others to support them in their work. But when they first started writing, they had the same doubts and fears. They all faced struggle. Today, let’s tackle those doubts, fears and struggles head on.

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How To Write Flash Fiction (and why you should!)

What is flash fiction, and why should you write it? I’ll tell you. But first, can I ask a question?

Are you reading this blog post on your phone? I’d bet money your answer is yes. Most of us spend more time pointing our noses at screens than buried in books or magazines. Rather than fight this, the modern writer should ask, “How do I best take advantage of this medium?” (A question that would likely horrify Ray Bradbury, God rest his soul.)

Content abounds on the internet, and when readers’ options are limitless, it stands to reason that shorter content has a better chance of being read. As fledgling writers, we want to get our names out there, right? That’s why the short, impactful form of flash fiction is an optimal way to showcase our writing chops to casual readers.

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How to Find Your Writing Rhythm Using The Snowball Effect

So there you sit. Again. Be it electronic or physical paper, the anxiety-inducing blank page stares back at you for the umpteenth time.

You’ve read plenty of articles explaining that most writers deal with this same situation all the time. All you need to do is push through the writer’s block, right? So you sit and sit and sit, waiting for inspiration to strike. Only it doesn’t. The longer you wait, the more frustrated you become. Finally you walk away, vowing to “try again tomorrow with a clear head.”

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Why I Set & Quit a Hundred-Book Reading Challenge


“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” — Stephen King

I’ve always been a reader, but in my early adulthood, my reading habit waned. Between demanding coursework and a struggle against depression, I rarely reached for the hobby that had entertained, encouraged, and inspired me throughout my youth. This all changed several years after I began writing.

I was disappointed in my progress and the quality of my skills when I stumbled upon this quote from Stephen King. Like a lightning bolt, realization struck. How could write phenomenal novels if I wasn’t reading them? 

In the months to come, I challenged myself to cull my mindless television consumption, a habit I’d picked up to distract me from the darkest days of my depression, and to replace those hours with reading. In the first year, I read 24 books. In the second, 35. That number continued to increase until my reading habit plateaued around 80 books a year. 

That’s no stack to scoff at, certainly. But I’ve always been one to strive for grander heights, which is why I challenged myself to read one hundred books in 2019. Now, five months and 35 books later, I’m calling it quits. Why? Well, that’s a complex question to answer, one that’s steeped in reflecting upon how I define my self-worth as a creative…

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Five Simple Tips for Conquering Creative Burnout

You’re excited about your novel idea. You want to write it, and you know you should be working on it, but life keeps getting in the way. When you do have time to write, you find yourself too physically and mentally exhausted. Burnt out to a crisp.

No matter where you are in life, you likely balance so many commitments that coming home to stare at a computer screen after a long day of school or work can seem like just another chore. Taking a break feels counterintuitive. Doesn’t that make the problem worse? How can taking a break from your passion prove refreshing?

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Feel like you're falling behind in your writing life?


As someone who blogs about writing fiction, I’m often asked about the fiction I write. 
How are your projects coming along? What kind of stories do you write? Are you published yet? Where can I find your books online? 

I’m always honored and encouraged when someone expresses interest in my work, but I’ll be honest: as a sort of public writing figure, I often feel a lot of pressure to excel in my personal storytelling, and that pressure can weigh heavy. When confronted with the fact that I haven’t yet published my work, that pressure compounds until I fear that I’m falling behind in my writing life.

This is a reality that I’ve dealt with for years, but now I’m gratified to realize that all the hard work I’ve put into owning my slow and steady approach to the craft has helped me build confidence in my creative journey. If, for any reason, you’ve also wondered whether you’re failing to live up to your creative potential, I’d like to share some of the hard truths I’ve learned with you today.

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How to Beat Writer's Block

Writer’s block is a fancy-schmancy term for getting stuck. It is a misnomer, and it's time we take our power back and beat writer's block together.

Writers, being somewhat eccentric and moody, vulnerable to imaginary worlds and people that actually exist in their work, accidentally gave getting stuck power when they named it "writer's block." In the words of Mike Wazowski of Monsters Inc., "You're not supposed to name it. Once you name it, you start getting attached to it." Seriously, it's like naming the stray kitten you found on the street.

And getting stuck happens in all areas of life. People get stuck on how to decorate a room, how to build a storage unit, how to bake a cheese soufflé, what to do with that stray kitten on the street…

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Eight Ways Writers Can Combat Imposter Syndrome

I have a confession to make: I often feel like a fraud.

Despite knowing full well that I’m not, I frequently fear that someday I’ll be called out for not being a “real” writer. It doesn’t matter how many articles I publish, how many page views the blog receives, how many resources I create, or how hard I’m working to write and revise my books, both fiction and non-fiction, for release. No amount of progress or success has kept me from feeling like an imposter.

Can you commiserate? Here’s the good news: we’re far from the only writers who struggle with Imposter Syndrome. In fact, this common phenomenon is prevalent in the creative community, especially among those looking to make a living from their writing. 

Despite its near everyday reality in my life, I refuse to allow Imposter Syndrome to keep me from achieving my personal definition of writing success. I’ve been working hard to overhaul my mindset and to adopt both offensive and defensive techniques to combat Imposter Syndrome. And today, writer, I’m eager to help you do the same…

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Eight Things to Consider When Working In a New Creative Medium

In February of 2019, I began drafting my very first book on writing.

Called Build Your Best Writing Life, this book presents a roadmap to becoming the writer you long to be, breaking down how you can forge a healthy creative mindset and writing practice, harness tools for intentional growth, and map your way to the writing life you long to lead. As of writing this, I’m well into the drafting process and cannot wait to share the book with you later this year.

Being as I’ve been writing non-fiction here at Well-Storied for several years, I didn’t imagine that diving into my first full-length non-fiction project would be that big of a leap. Turns out, I was wrong. Oh, so terribly wrong… And that’s exactly why I want to share the hard lessons I’ve already learned about working in a new creative medium here with you today.

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How to Work Through Writing Doubts

French author Honore de Balzac once wrote, “When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”

I find this quote to be incredibly powerful in and of itself because it recognizes a key misstep taken in much of the advice surrounding the phenomenon of self-doubt. Rather than being an obstacle to overcome or an enemy to defeat, doubt is simply the reality of a choice: will I place faith in myself or will I place faith in my fear?

The truly wild reality is that neither of these options is wrong, so long as you’re choosing the best option for you. Like doubt, fear is not the enemy. It’s the reality of risk. But what does this all mean for your writing life? How can you move forward when doubt has kept you trapped in stagnation for days, weeks, months, or even years on end? Read on, writer. We’re about to dig in.

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How to Rediscover Your Love for Writing

Has your writing life dwindled to near non-existence? You aren’t alone, writer.

Making time to write is one thing, but you aren’t simply struggling to juggle your calendar. You seem to have fallen out of love with writing altogether. It’s not that you don’t want to write in a big-picture sense. Sharing your stories with the world has always been a dream of yours. You’ve simply lost all desire to manifest those stories in your everyday writing life.

Is this some sort of writer’s block, then? A failure to overcome procrastination? A sign that writing isn’t right for you? Nonsense. It’s time we had a chat about creative passion, writer — and more importantly, how to rediscover it for yourself.

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How to Hold Yourself Accountable to Your Writing Practice

I’ve often said that consistency is key to writing success.

There are other keys, of course: passion, patience, persistence, a willingness to learn. But when it comes to building a life-long writing habit that brings creative fulfillment, consistency is king. Why, then, does is often prove so difficult to get our butts in our chairs and our fingers on the keys?

Today, let’s talk about the phenomenon of resistance and how we can leverage our unique personalities and processes to overcome it!

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Eight Reasons to Participate In NaNoWriMo


If you’ve been around the online writing community for long, you’ve probably heard of NaNoWriMo.

Short for National Novel Writing Month, this epic event encourages writers to pen 50,000 words in the month of November. And when I say “epic,” I mean it. Every year, hundreds of thousands of writers worldwide take part in this online and in-person event — and that number is growing every year.

So what makes NaNoWriMo such a popular event? In today’s article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the event itself and how taking part may just revolutionize your writing life as it did mine!

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