How Writing Can Enhance Your Life

The Value Of The Written Word

Balloon, Start, Light, Fire, Hot Air, Lamp, Lantern

Use Writing As A Creative Outlet

If you’re like me, writing is not your full-time job. I use it as a way to relax, a way to express my thoughts, and it brings nothing but joy to my life.

It’s a way to express my creativity and bring value to others.

I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years. I’ve gone through many phases. In middle school and high school, I played basketball for fun, among other sports.

In college and afterward, I was knee deep into sales positions and managing businesses.

Now I’m a devoted husband and father to 2 young boys, along with working as an Admissions Advisor for 40 hours a week.

My wife and I remain extremely active with our 3 year old and 6 year old. Just this morning I played basketball and took my sons swimming.

Guess what I’ve been thinking about the entire morning while I was doing those things? Writing. It’s a great addition to an already full life.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

— Richard Bach

Don’t Just Write For Money

When you write solely for the purpose of earning money, it pushes you in the wrong direction. You’re just thinking about how much profit you can earn without focusing on anything else.

Writing is something I recently started to make money from since I’ve only been on Medium for just over 2 months. It’s something I’m invested in for the long-term.

My sole purpose on Medium though is not to earn money. That’s an added benefit, like icing on a cake. It’s to build a following of people who enjoy what I provide. It’s to join a community and meet other like-minded people. It’s also to practice my craft and learn from top writers.

My end goal is not to be the king of Medium. It’s to become a successful novelist and write thrillers. That’s what I work on when I’m not writing on Medium.

There are many benefits to being on this site that have nothing do with earning money. When your articles on Medium provide a real benefit to others, the applause, comments, and success will naturally follow.

Writing is a passion of mine that provides a real benefit to my life.

Think about writing like a diamond. Why are diamonds purchased so often?

When someone buys a diamond, they know they’re getting something of high quality. That’s how I like to think of writing.

You need to write with something else in mind besides how much money you can make. In my case, it’s purpose, quality, and value. Is it high quality, does it have a purpose, and is it providing value?

Precious, Diamond, Jewelry, Expensive, Luxury, Crystal

Write Because You Want To

You should write because you want to, not because you have to. When you do something out of passion, it shows. People can tell when you’re being genuine about a subject, even when it’s written down.

There are many things I do because I have to. Taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, and paying the bills to name a few.

I work a full-time job because I have to. I do enjoy it, but it provides a means to an end. The purpose of my full-time job is to provide for my wife, kids, and to maintain a middle-class lifestyle. It’s also to save money for kids’ education and allow us to go on a nice vacation if we’d like to.

You should write because it’s something you enjoy doing.

Why are you writing in the first place? Is it for you or for others? Whatever that answer is, you need to remember that and focus on it.

Keep writing as long as you feel it adds to your life.

Tree, Sunset, Amazing, Beautiful, Breathtaking

Click here to subscribe to my free monthly newsletter for exclusive writing tips.

The Advantages of Writing in Short Bursts

Nature, Road, Mountains, Alpine, East Tyrol, Mood, Fog

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
— Margaret Atwood

Some people have a golden rule that they need to sit down and write 1,000 -2,000 words at once.

Is this really necessary?

No.

When you force yourself to write a certain number of words, it can stifle your creativity.

You need to make sure your writing is quality. If it’s not good, it won’t matter how many words you ink.

When I’m tired to the point of almost falling asleep, I stop writing. I can tell my brain is not fully functioning so it doesnt’ make sense to attempt to hit a word count.

Why put awful words when down when I’m just going to delete them tomorrow?

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t type a certain number of words in one setting.

Argument, Conflict, Controversy, Dispute, Contention

As long as you keep writing often enough, eventually you’ll finish your book. I never stress about how many words I write in a day. Sometimes I literally write only five words and I’m content with that.

Of course if you’re on a deadline, then this article isn’t for you. This is for writers who don’t have a time stamp they’re committed to.

Pick three times during the day to sit down for 15 minutes each time. You can write many a word in 45 minutes time. Better yet, it can be good writing.

When you write in short periods of time, the potential of the quality of your writing improves. Your brain is only getting pushed for a small amount of time throughout the day so you’re more effective.

It’s all about your level of alertness. How awake are you when you’re writing?

Writing in short bursts can potentially improve your writing. Try it and see what happens.

Beverage, Blog, Blogger, Break, Business, Coffee

Click here to suscribe to my free monthly newsletter with exclusive writing tips.

Beating Writer’s Block

Defeating Your #1 Enemy — Your Mind

Even the greatest of writers have writer’s block at one time or another. How can you overcome this?

“Convince yourself that you are working in clay, not marble, on paper not eternal bronze: Let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes.”
― Jacques Barzun

Step 1: Outline Your Book.

Some people choose to outline their books and some don’t. An outline can give you a big picture of where you want your book to go. Think of 5 or 6 overall themes and big storylines and begin writing. You can also outline chapters if you’d like. Write a short paragraph or a few bullet points for what you want the chapter to be about and then let your imagination take you the rest of the way.

Step 2. Think Of Thought Joggers

A thought jogger is when you write down a list of words and then your brain automatically connects that to other related ideas. For example, if you write the name of a friend, usually you’ll automatically think of their spouse and then their kids. This is a good way to come up with ideas for your book, by writing a list of words first that relate to your story lines.

Step 3. Think Of The Craziest Ideas And Pick One

In James Patterson’s Masterclass , he suggests to write down 10 crazy things that could happen to your main character and then pick the most realistic one. This will help you with your story if you’re stuck and you don’t know where you book is going next. Many people can come up with the beginning or end of the book, but struggle in the middle.

Step 4: Go For A Walk

A lot of times when you get stuck in writing, it’s time to just get outside and walk around. Go for a walk and don’t think about what you’re writing for 10 or 15 minutes and completely remove yourself away from your novel. This will clear your mind so you can start off fresh again at a later point. You could also try meditating or yoga or some other form of exercise.

Step 5. Change Your Location

Typically I write from home sitting on my comfortable couch or at my desk, but sometimes just going to a local Starbucks or bookstore will get the creative juices flowing. or just put on your headphones and listen to music.Try switching locations and see if that helps. Being around other people can stimulate the senses.

Step 6. Read A Book From Your Favorite Author

While I’m writing, I’ll read quite a bit too. Read other books like the one you’re writing and study their prose, setting, character development, and humor and this will help you put pen to paper to continue writing your manuscript.

Click here to subscribe to my free monthly newsletter for exclusive writing tips.

Simple, Yet Effective Writing Tips

Useful Tips You Should Follow If You’re a Writer

Photo by Ian Froome on Unsplash
  1. Be Genuine

People know when your written word sounds like it’s genuine. You need to be faithful to your voice and the way you write. If you’re writing about a character, make sure you stay in that character’s personality the entire time. It’s just like talking to face-to-face. You can tell when someone is being fake.

2. Write Consistently

Writing, like anything else, takes practice. People don’t just start out as excellent writers. It’s a craft that needs to be honed over time. The more you write, the better you’ll get.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

3. Remember to Read

Reading isn’t only for the sake of enjoying the story if you’re a writer. It’s important to pay attention to the wording, plot development, character structure, and story lines. What do you like about the story you’re reading? Take mental notes as you read.

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

4. Fight Through Writer’s Block

Even the most talented of writers have trouble coming up with ideas while they’re writing. If you’re writing a 80,000 word novel, there is no way you’re going to be able to fill those pages seamlessly. Take a break if you need to and eventually the words will come.

5. Do Other Things Besides Write

Too much of one thing day after day can just get boring. You need to fill your time up with other activities. Maybe go out and play some sports or watch TV. Take your dog for a long walk or go hiking. You need to fill time up with other things so your mind will stay fresh for writing.

Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash

Follow these steps to improve your writing!

Click here to subscribe to my free monthly newsletter with exclusive writing tips.

Does It Matter Where You Write?

It Depends On Your Focus

Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash

Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.
– Ayn Rand

Where Should You Go To Write?

I write anywhere I can. It doesn’t matter if there’s a TV on in the background or not. I can be watching a movie on Netflix or a reality show. Regardless, I’m able to focus on my writing. Even if my kids are talking to me and asking me for something to eat, I can still write.

Use Your Surroundings To Your Advantage

If you’re the type of person that writes while you’re outside, you can use that to your advantage. Let’s say you’re struggling to describe a character. You’re not quite sure what they should wear.

Look around at the people passing by and you can see how their dressed. This will give you ideas. Put that in your book.

If you write while you’re sitting outside a Starbucks and you don’t know how to pinpoint someone’s hair color or hair style, just look up at the people standing in line ordering Mocha Frappuccinos.

Create A Comfortable Writing Space

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

You need to make sure your settled in to your writing space. It could be your favorite couch or sitting in your office chair. Right now, I’m writing while I’m standing in my office while Black Mirror is on. I can still focus though. Having the ability to focus is key.

If you’re not good at multi-tasking, don’t attempt to write and do other things simultaneously. It won’t be productive for you as a writer. You still need to make sure your work is full of quality.

Change Things Up When It’s Not Working

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas where you are, change your location. Move from the kitchen table and go outside. Take a trip to the library or eat in front of a cafe. Switch things up to keep your mind moving and engage it in new ways. You never know what brilliant idea might strike you if you decide to write somewhere else.

Photo by RR Abrot on Unsplash

What’s The Trick To Writing?

The most important thing to do is use your incredible brain to come up with creative content. You need to engage your reader. That being said, you can do that from anywhere at anytime.

How To Juggle Writing and Working A Full-Time Job

Making Writing Your Priority

Photo by Swan Htet on Unsplash

Here Are Some Tips to Juggle Your Primary Job and Writing

  1. Make Writing A Priority

You need to decide what’s important to you when it comes to your life. For me, it’s family first, my main occupation, then writing. Until I’m able to become a writer full-time, this is the order of priority. Some day I hope to place writing second. The interesting thing is I’m so excited about writing that I think about it way more than my main occupation. I’m much more intrigued about the potential to make writing a full-time career. That’s the future I’m pushing towards.

I have a full-time job. I work 40 hours per week and make a solid living working. I’m fortunate to be in a position where I get a little bit of downtime throughout the day to focus on writing. In my spare time, I’m either writing on Medium or focusing on my thriller novel.

2. Set Aside Time To Write Every Single Day

You just have to put it somewhere in your schedule. It can be any time and anywhere. You need to make it part of your routine. Like anything else, it requires consistency. Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner is part of your routine. Sleeping is part of your routine, maybe exercising. Now it needs to be writing. Once you do that, it will become easier to get it done every day.

Photo by Clique Images on Unsplash

3. Decide How Important Your Full-Time Job Is

For me, it’s extremely important. It provides my family and kids a nice middle-class life. Am I happy to be in my current position? You bet. Do I want to do it forever? No.

Would I like to write full-time in the future? Yes. It keeps me motivated knowing there is enormous potential to make this a full-time career. I’ve already mastered my current job and I like the idea of improving upon my passion, which is writing.

4. Figure Out Your Writing Niche

What are you good at when it comes to writing? What are you passionate about? Whatever it is, that’s what you should be writing about. Decide on what you’re interested in and this will make your writing better. Then practice over and over again until your writing improves. What do you enjoy reading? If you’re writing a novel, read plenty of books in the same genre while you’re writing to improve upon your craft.

Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash

Follow these tips above to help balance out your life and writing.

How To Create A Memorable Villain For Your Novel

Ideas For A Villain To Remember

Here are some ideas to create a villain that people will remember long after they finish your book.

  1. They Have A Dark Past.

Your villian needs to have a dark past, something that’s happened to them that has morphed their personality into something completely different than what it was before. No one starts out evil, but people are influenced by what happens to them when they’re younger. How did they become the person they are today? What’s the motivation behind their actions? You’ll want to expand on this when writing.

2. They Believe They Speak The Truth

Villains have an unwavering belief that their actions are completely valid. It doesn’t matter what they do or how horrific it might be. They have justifications in everything they do. Write about those justifications in your novel.

3. They Experienced A Rough Childhood

A common trait for a villain is experiencing a bad upbringing. Maybe your villain was abused by their parents. Maybe their parents ended up in jail and your villain couldn’t handle the stress of taking everything on by himself. Your brother beat you up or you were bullied in school and now you need to get revenge.

4. Their Parents Died At The Hands of Someone Else

This is a common revenge story. Your parents are killed by someone else and you spend your entire life getting revenge for them. How did they die? How did that impact your future? Batman is a common example. Growing up without parents can have a negative impact on a young child, which can create a great villain.

5. They’ve become someone else.

You can slowly change them over time. They can have good intentions in the beginning of the story and that can evolve. The perfect example would be Walter White in Breaking Bad. He started out trying to save money for his family because he knew he was going to die of cancer and then of course later he became Heisenberg.

6. They Have A Brilliant Mind

Your villain can be as smart as they come. In many cases, that’s how they’re able to pull off these atrocities without getting caught. They’re smarter than everyone in the room. Just because someone’s bad, it doesn’t mean you have to dumb them down.

7. They Should Look The Part

Your villain should look scary. People should know they’re the villain when they see them. This makes them larger than life and scarier in person. Darth Vader is a cool and menacing figure even in his suit. Hannibal Lecter has a look that says, “Don’t come near me if you want a cupcake.” He does like eating though.


Your villain should frighten someone by appearance alone, let alone his actions, which can be much worse. Your villain can portray any type of personality you want, but try to make him or her memorable and delve into their past.