No more excuses—get back to work

Two lightbulbs on a reflective surface with pink and purple lighting
Two lightbulbs on a reflective surface with pink and purple lighting
Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash

The past couple months have been hard on me as a creative. Stress has seriously affected how I work, which in turn has negatively affected my income. Aside from a few moments of inspiration, I didn’t want to write. I was unmotivated and apathetic.

If you don’t know already, being a professional creative means not depending on inspiration. It means throwing your excuses out the door and getting to work, whether you feel like it or not. It’s hard, but it’s also fulfilling.

A couple weeks ago, I knew I had to do something to kick my butt into gear. I’ve always been a procrastinator, but I needed to up my productivity levels before my slump turned into a habit. …

And why you literally can’t afford to skip it

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White desk with computer, keyboard and mouse, phone, notebook, orange mug, a houseplant, and a notepad with a pencil
White desk with computer, keyboard and mouse, phone, notebook, orange mug, a houseplant, and a notepad with a pencil
Image licensed from DepositPhotos

Oh, self-editing. Some writers look forward to it, and some dread the very thought of having to sit down and edit their novel. Yet self-editing is an important skill for any type of writer to have, and it can also cut down on publication costs.

So the question is, what’s the best way to self-edit a novel? …

These things will make or break your story

Woman on a hammock reading a book
Woman on a hammock reading a book

If you’re a storyteller, odds are you can’t read or watch a story without trying to take something away from it. You find yourself wondering, “How did those writers make this scene so powerful?” Or maybe you find yourself awestruck by the way an author worded something in your most recent read.

I’m the same way.

I used to read with a notebook and pen handy, so that anytime I came across something I liked in a story, I could write it down. …

If you don’t believe me, read this

Waitress carrying three plates
Waitress carrying three plates
Image licensed from DepositPhotos

Whether you work as a cashier or in the kitchen, food service jobs are exhausting. You have to deal with rude and entitled customers, stressed managers, crazy orders, and a coating of grease on everything, no matter how often you clean. And that’s on a good day.

That’s what comes with the industry, sure. And while angry customers and hectic rush hours aren’t the best part of anyone’s day, they’re manageable.

So what makes the food service industry abusive?

If you’ve worked in a restaurant before, you probably already know. But if you’ve never had to put on a hairnet, tie an apron around your waist, or buy black, slip-resistant shoes, you’re in for one heck of a read. …

Your step-by-step guide, from basics to monetizing

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Image licensed from DepositPhotos

I’ve been blogging for a long time. In that time, I’ve learned a lot, from writing the perfect blog post to learning the algorithms of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Blogging isn’t easy. In fact, it takes a lot of work. And hard truth: it takes some money. To do things right, you shouldn’t just start a blog on a site like Blogger or Wix. You need to host your own site. It sounds scary, doesn’t it?

Well, here’s another hard truth: if you want to blog, you’re going to have to get over the fear of the unknown. Because trust me, there’s a lot that you don’t know. And unless you have boatloads of cash to sink into virtual assistants and freelancers, you have a steep learning curve ahead of you. …

It doesn’t have to be awkward—or boring.

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Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

“If you’re going to date someone, you have to be interesting. Otherwise, you’ll bore your partner.”

Those words were spoken to me when I was 18 and about to enter my first relationship. The person who spoke them meant well, but instead that single sentence caused my naive, just-graduated self to believe a lie that would take four years to shake off.

I truly thought that is was my job to make sure I always had something to talk about.

From crafting your pitch to writing great content — and everything in between

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Photo: mentatdgt/Pexels/Pexels License

Freelance writing: side hustle for some, full-time job for others, and dream career for many.

But how do you get started with freelance writing? It seems so daunting, and no matter how many “Freelance Writing Tips for Beginners” articles you read, you just can’t figure out how to get your first writing job.

I’ve been where you are — frustrated, lost, and wondering what you’re doing wrong. It’s not a fun place. That’s why I’m here, laying down this step-by-step guide to jump starting your freelance writing career. …

As a kid, I didn’t know why I was pulling my hair out — I just knew it made me feel ashamed

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Photo: Phatcharee Saetoen / EyeEm

I was eight years old when it started.

My eyes would be itchy, but I couldn’t exactly scratch my eyeballs. So I would reach up with my tiny fingers and do the only thing that gave me momentary relief — I’d pull out my eyelashes. My parents thought it was allergies, and while allergy meds did get rid of my sneezing and runny nose, they didn’t help me stop pulling.

Soon, all of my eyelashes were gone. Keeping my head down hid it for the most part, but people still noticed sometimes. …

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

Your alarm goes off, and the first thing you reach for is your phone. You sift through your notifications, dismissing most of them before hopping onto Facebook to see what’s been happening while you were asleep.

It’s your lunch break, and you’re slowly working away at your meal while catching up on the Tweets you missed in the past four hours. Once you’re finished, it’s time to feast your eyes on Instagram’s perfectly-curated tropical vacations, morning lattes, and flatlays.

Before you know it, you’re home from work, and — of course — it’s time to relax and scroll on Pinterest for some dinner inspiration. …

For when you’re stuck, blocked, or just too tired

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

It took me an entire week.

I forced words onto the page for my freelance gig, but my novel stood still for a solid seven days.

So did everything else, honestly.

My fridge stayed empty, as did my cabinets. I had aspirations of publishing on Medium multiple times that week, but instead I barely even tried. I literally didn’t touch my computer for days, and that hasn’t happened since before I started writing full-time (with the exception of my honeymoon).

I would wake up with no motivation to get out of bed. I’d stay there, my brain foggy and numb. Once I finally dragged myself to my desk, I would open up my laptop and wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” …


Rebekah Joan

Writing and blogging tips + thoughts about this thing we call life.

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