Posts in The Writing Life
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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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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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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10 Ways to Care For Yourself As a Writer

Back in the summer of 2016, I wrote a very personal article for the blog.

In it, I revealed that I battle depression and shared tips on how to write while living with a mental illness. I never could have imagined how much of an impact that article would have. It's one of the biggest reasons why I want to talk more about writerly self-care on the blog this year!

As writers, our work is so mentally and emotionally draining. It’s not hard to fall into periods of burnout or extreme doubt, which, being so difficult to overcome, can prolong our writing ruts even further and leave us feeling defeated.

This is not a pattern I want you guys to fall into, which is exactly why I want to share ten ways you can learn to care for yourself as a writer today on the blog. Sound like a plan?

Let’s dive in!

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Breaking Down Five Keys to Writing Success


We all want to be successful, don't we?

We want to be happy in our work. To be motivated and inspired, always ready to write. We want to find as much time to focus on our stories as we can, and we want others to love and support our stories when we share them. And let's be real: most of us want to make a bit of cash by publishing our books, too.

Success. It's a shiny concept, but also hard-earned. And because success often seems so distant and unattainable, the desire for it can lead us to place undue pressure on ourselves.

If I only worked hard enough, I could…
If I only wrote like that author, I might…
Am I even good enough to be a writer?

The pressure to succeed can easily lend itself to doubts, fears, and a whole lot of stress. It can even make writing feel like a chore, rather than the hobby we once enjoyed—which is of course no bueno. You know what I mean? Here's the good news: You can find writing success. And you can do it without all of those nasty side effects, too. But how?

Let's dive into today's five keys to writing success!

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Are You Ready to Conquer Writing Overwhelm?

Let's face it: writing isn't always easy. Sure, it's fun when we're in the zone—when we have a brilliant idea in mind and the words just seem to flow. But most of the time? Most of the time, writing is hard.

All too often, we battle tricky plot holes, the urge to pick apart our every written word, the monstrous task of editing, and all the other glories that come with being writers. And unfortunately, it's pretty easy to let the overwhelm of tackling tough writing struggles turn us to procrastination rather than productivity.

So, how can we flip the script? That's exactly what we're going to talk about today!

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Four Tips for Writing When You Are Depressed


The Tortured Artist. It's society's idyllic image: beauty wrought of struggle, of madness. There's truly no creative stereotype I loathe more. The Tortured Artist so frequently pictured in film and television teaches that the best works cannot be produced unless one is battling demons, deep in the grip of dangerous substances, or struggling under the weight of mental illness. 

As a writer who does live with mental illness — depression, to be exact — I can say from experience that such struggles have in no way improved my work. On the contrary, they regularly leave me feeling further demotivated and ashamed. 

However, I have learned a thing or two about living my best writing life despite struggles with mental illness, and knowing that I'm not alone, I'd like to share those things with you today.

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