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Tips and writing advice from Medium

A letter to a discouraged young writer

Photo: Eric/CC BY-ND

This week, a friend wrote to ask if I had any words of encouragement for a 14-year-old writer who had grown discouraged, convinced that writing would neither improve her life, nor this tormented and fraught world. Here is what I wrote to her, with a few edits.


XXXXXX asked me to send you a brief note of encouragement. I understand where you’re coming from. Writing can be incredibly demoralizing, in part because it is incredibly elevating. Working out your anxieties, hopes and fears on paper through the lives of imaginary people can be an absolute tonic, and when…

A stable of trusted personal readers is the bedrock of writing that resonates

Photo: Bongkarn Thanyakij / EyeEm / Getty Images

When you write, you need readers who are on the front lines with you: The ones who read your writing before it’s even submitted. They may offer key developmental notes, suggest better word choices, cover your pages in red ink, or act as cheerleaders, helping you build confidence as you work on an essay, short story, or a book. It’s immensely valuable to have someone to talk with about your piece, so you can understand how it’s coming off —what’s resonating and what’s “bumping,” or not feeling natural.

Having a reliable network you can turn is sometimes the difference between…


Your stories about finding happiness and finding yourselves

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Hey writers! Time for my weekly roundup of my favorite stories that came from Write Here prompts. For the last few weeks, you all have used the prompts to be honest about yourselves and your life experiences. That vulnerability and authenticity is what will continue to set your writing apart.

Get into these awesome stories and keep writing your own (with the tag “Writehere” of course!) and you may be featured!

I Would Be So Happy If I Were Young Again

“I would be so happy if I were young again,/I’d learn to be a great self./Before everything, anything.” –– Andawn F.

Stop Trying to Convince Me I Need to Be Happy All the Time

“When authors of the Declaration of Independence wrote…

Four free workshops to help you improve your writing, earn money on Medium, and find your niche

Medium is hosting four new, free workshops for creators this fall. We hope they’ll help you hone your writing and self-editing skills, earn money for your work, and move a few steps closer to publishing your next story. No matter your level of experience, you’re welcome to join.

Immediately Improve Any Story: Let’s Make Your Draft or Published Post Even Better

September 29th, 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET. Register here.
Writing is a process of constant rewriting. And on the internet, nothing is ever finished. In this workshop, we’ll explore five tactical ways to improve anything you’ve written (whether you’ve already published it or not). …

Tips for conquering writer’s block, building your audience, and more

This summer, we hosted three free workshops for creators. Together, they gave writers tools and resources to help them build a readership, hone their craft, and break through creative blocks. If you joined us for one (or all) of these workshops, thank you! We’re grateful for your ideas, questions, and feedback. Below, you’ll find recordings and resources from each session.

We were blown away by the interest in these workshops, and we plan to do more — stay tuned, and check Creators Hub for announcements. If you have ideas for future workshops, please let us know in the responses!

How to Write an Essay Everyone Wants to Read: 5 Steps to Craft Meaningful Personal Narratives



Get valuable lessons from Medium editors and creative writing prompts!

Hey writers! In case you missed it, the recordings of our Summer Creator Workshops are now available on the Creator’s Hub!

In these workshops you’ll learn how to craft the perfect essay, how to connect with readers and grow your audience, and how to beat writer’s block and put your work out there (← that’s the class I taught!).

Click the link below to access all of this valuable information directly from Medium editors and let’s get into this week’s prompts!

These will be my office companions until they fall apart (or I do)

Photo by Gülfer ERGİN on Unsplash

I used to be friends with a writer who could only work if she was wearing her father’s plaid wool hunting shirt. I don’t know she could stand it in the middle of the summer, but that shirt was her rabbit’s foot, her lucky charm, and it somehow got her brain up and running. I’ve always considered myself fortunate that I don’t have any rituals or talismans that are necessary for me to be productive. In fact, I’m pretty agnostic about where and how I work. …


I’m glad you’re all here

Hey y’all! Wanted to take a minute this Write Here Wednesday to say thank you! I really enjoy reading your work because it makes me so excited that you all are finding inspiration from the writing prompts every week. But more than that, I’ve been learning so much from your experiences and advice. I’ve gotten as much out of these essays as I hope you all have gotten out of writing them.

Just wanted to show y’all some sincere love. I’m glad you’re here. Show some love for your fellow writers below.

Do You Have A Jerk in Your Head That Won’t Shut Up

“[I]f accept that you don’t know what you…


Plus how the right tags can get your story in front of more readers

Hi writers! If you’re hoping to get your Write Here stories in front of more eyes, I have one tip for you:


Tagging your stories “Writehere” has helped me and other editors and writers find and promote your work. Adding more relevant tags to your stories will help the right readers find your words. If you write about marriage or first loves, try tagging your story: “Relationships” or “Love.” If you’re writing about a celebrity, tag that celebrity. …


Are you afraid to write?

Writer’s block won’t stop us! (Photo credit: Getty Images)

It’s come to my attention that some of you are afraid to write. The reason I know this is because I’m sometimes afraid to write, too.

Call it writer’s block, anxiety, procrastination, or whatever, sometimes the very idea of putting pen to paper makes my hands physically shake. But the way to overcome the fear of writing is to actually start writing.

Sometimes our brains tell us that what we write isn’t good enough, that doesn’t make sense, that no one will read it or care and we won’t make any money from it anyway. But you know what, who…

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