10 things no one tells you about writing

I don't have a published book. In fact, even though I've written countless chapter book drafts over the years as a child who knew nothing about writing but still managed to get 25,000 words on a page, I only have two drafts of actual novels, both written since November of 2016. This July, I'm onto my third project, my best project, my most thought out project, my most serious project. I can't wait to be sharing more about it with you, but today I'll be sharing 10 things no one tells you about writing.

I'm no master writer, but here's the funny thing about writing: even though you have all this amazing advice to give, you still find yourself stumbling and having to remind yourself of it every day. It's easy to know all sorts of stuff about writing, but executing is more difficult. Easier said than done, right?

OK, so here are 10 things no one tells you about writing.

1. It will suck up your time (or it won't)
Writing WILL take up a whole lot of your time. Unless it doesn't. Sometimes you'll be writing word after word like a superstar. and sometimes you'll be staring motionlessly at a blank page or writing the same thing over and over. It's still writing, right? (insert sheepish laugh to confirm I'm losing my mind)

2. When you tell people you're "writing", usually you're not
Writing is 3 percent hard word and 97 percent being distracted by the internet. When you tell your friends you can't hang out because you're writing, that means (a) you're actually writing in your novel or (b) you're watching a cute cat video, reading up on the latest celebrity gossip, or scrolling through motivational and inspirational writing quotes on Pinterest that make you feel like an accomplished writer, while you're actually equal to the person pinning DIY homemade succulent terrariums. Let that sink in for a minute. I mean, it still counts as writing, doesn't it?

3. It will drain your brain
It's as scary, dangerous, and traumatizing as it sounds. Writing will drain all your mental energy and make you feel like a hermit of a zombie deprived of coffee, except even 87 pots of coffee won't take you out of that mental state that makes it pretty much impossible to put one good word on the page. Writing will tire you out in a weird way, so don't think you're going crazy if it does after that 5,000 word sprint...like anyone that's written for a while does that anymore.

4. You'll get all sorts of ideas that could be bestsellers...until you actually need them
You're in the shower, and BAM! You magically come up with the perfect characters for a novel. You're dozing off, and POW! You string together a dreamy plot full of twists and romance. You're in the checkout line at the grocery store and WOWSER! The ideal first chapter of your novel plays out in your mind. Then when you sit down to write down some ideas...nothing. All you can envision is the bacon you had for breakfast yesterday and all the TV shows you need to be watching ASAP.

5. You'll be best friends with your novel characters
It's true. I mean, you're constantly writing about them ("writing", a broad term discussed in point 2), constantly creating storylines for them, and characters are basically a projection of you. They're obviously important to you! And if anyone says anything bad about your characters or how they're just "made up"...warning: incoming rant!

6. People, places, and situations in your life will show in your writing
That bratty co-worker you've put up with for the last 6 months? Now you know who to base the evil witch in your book off of. That smiling barista you greet on your way to work each morning? He'd make a good protagonist. If anyone messes with you, warn them that if they keep it up, they'll surely have a character (obviously not a delightful one) in your project. You'll also find that all sorts of places and situations in your day to day life might be so interesting (or not interesting) that they'll snake their way into your writing. They say write what you know, so it would only make sense.

7. Writer's block is practically evil
You know that monster we all see in horror movies...gnarled teeth, glaring yellow eyes, glistening white fangs, outstretched claws, a body covered in mangy and matted fur...although it's never given attention to in the movies, that monster actually has a name: Writer's Block. Ah, writer's block. The thing that makes you sit and stare at your computer screen for hours while a perfectly white page haunts you and you wonder if you're actually dying. Beautiful, I know.

8. First drafts will pretty much kill you
You've spent months working on what you call "juicy" and "detailed. "Mysterious" and "intriguing". Something that will keep book stores in business. You've topped off your first draft and you're so excited to start reading through it and...wait, who took your juicy, detailed, mysterious, intriguing novel and replaced it with an endless stack of paper filled with the most random descriptions of things and the word "noticed" or "realized" a gazillion times? I'm calling my lawyer.

9. You'll pretend you're some famous author without even realizing it
You might not even realize it, but you'll imagine online interviews with the hottest new lifestyle blogs where you fill the world in on your career as a writer. You know, the perfect career where you wear nerdy glasses, drink out of a cat mug, and simply tell people that writer's block doesn't exist if you don't want it to. Wait, so is this an author interview or a comedy sketch? Oh, and telling your friends you're a writer feels totally cool, even if all you've written for the day is "WHY AM I FAILURE?!?!?!?!"

10. Writing. Is. Hard.
Writing will suck the life from you, make you browse Pinterest boards for hours so you feel better about yourself, and make you form some nasty calluses on your fingers. It will make you wonder why people even write in the first place and more importantly, why you even write in the first place. You probably haven't found that out yet, and neither have I, so I guess I'll just push away my sanity and keep writing until I find out.


  1. I think your good at writing Robin. While it is time consuming it can be fun and maybe even relaxing for some. It will keep your mind sharp so that's a good thing for when you get old which is a long time for you not so long for us LOL If you love it i say do what you love and have fun with it. I think you will have a book out in the future....we all have complete faith in you Robin :-)



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