I am turning 30 next week! To celebrate, I am taking a leap and opening up a paid subscription option of my newsletter.
Since launching Lonely Victories in May 2020, it has been a free publication. The newsletter will still be free, but paying subscribers can participate in my new Book Club for Writers and receive a discount on all of my writing workshops.
Get 25% off for 1 year
Book Club for Writers
The Book Club for Writers will focus on books about the craft of writing as well as the creative process. This book club is for:
Writers of all backgrounds, genres, and skill levels (including those who have always wanted to write but haven’t known where to start).
Readers who crave accountability.
Anyone looking for a friendly environment to discuss the creative process and write in communion with others.
Starting in January, the club will meet quarterly on Zoom for an hour and a half on Sunday afternoons (EST).
If you can’t make it to the book club meetings (or if Zoom isn’t your thing), there will also be a lively discussion thread available for paying subscribers only.
Here are the books we will read in 2023:
Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative by Melissa Febos
Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on the Writing Life by Jenny Boully
Daily Rituals: Women at Work by Mason Currey
Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts by Matt Bell
Purchase all four of the book club selections here.
Writing Workshop Discount
I’ll be teaching several online fiction and nonfiction writing workshops next year and will be offering 10% off workshop tuition to paying subscribers.
If you’re a returning student or would like to take a workshop with me, this is a paid subscription perk worth considering!
How much does a subscription cost?
In honor of my 30th birthday, I am offering an initial discount on paying subscriptions: $30 for the year. You can also gift a subscription at this special introductory price.
On December 1, subscriptions will go up to $40/year or $5/month.
Get 25% off for 1 year
Thank you in advance for supporting my work!
I am excited to read together and talk about our writing next year (and hopefully for years to come).
30 is the theme of the day! In honor of my milestone birthday, I’ve decided to reflect on my reasons for returning to the page over and over again.
Here are 30 reasons why I love writing.
1. To put it very simply, I love moving my pen across paper.
I relate to something the poet Mary Ruefle once said (which I stumbled across via Mason Currey’s newsletter) about writing by hand:
“I write by hand because that is how I began, and I love it. Moving the wrist, the marks the pencil or pen leave on the paper—like the trail of a snail—well, it is like drawing, no, it is drawing, and I am so enamoured of this activity that sometimes I write continuously without actually forming real words, I call it ‘fake handwriting,’ and it’s just as much fun as actually ‘writing’. By fun I mean it’s just as much a mystery. The whole wrist-moving action is why I write in the first place. I don’t like tennis, or knitting; I like writing with my hands.”
2. I love the clarity that writing gives me.
3. Writing can make my problems go from feeling ginormous and swirly to tight and contained.
I recently came across this Janis Ozolins illustration that sums this feeling up for me:
4. Writing helps me dive into my feelings with courage.
5. But other times, when I need it most, writing helps me escape the world.
The fact that it can give me both a place to explore my feelings and a place to put them away for a while is a truly amazing thing to me.
6. Hours can pass, and there I’ll be, in my own head.
This is especially true for me when I start working on a draft and can’t get my ideas down fast enough. In fact, I think this is the feeling I get from writing that I love more than anything else—the feeling of ideas vying to be written down first.
7. I can write anywhere.
And I really do write everywhere. I even write while I’m driving. And no, I don’t mean that I prop a notebook against the steering wheel! (Though I have jotted things down quickly at red lights before.)
If I get an idea behind the wheel, I’ll record myself talking in a voice memo, or I’ll ask Siri to remind me about my new idea later on when I actually have time to write it down.
8. By journaling, I’m keeping an archive of my past.
To some, this benefit may seem self-indulgent, but… is it narcissistic to admit that I’ve never once thought of it that way? I’ve been journaling since I was a kid and love looking back at them (even when they make me cringe at past Hurley).
9. I love seeing my own progress on the page.
When I first started writing, I didn’t know how to get my ideas across. Now, I’m much more confident when I write, and I can see my craft improving.
10. …but then again, there’s always room for growth!
Which brings me to #11:
11. Writing never bores me.
Do I dread it sometimes? Sure. But only when I’m feeling lazy. Once I sit down and start writing, I’m never bored.
12. When I write every day, I notice a difference in my overall outlook on life.
I do not feel like myself unless I make time to write. That’s something I’m grateful for. Whenever I don’t feel like “a writer,” whatever that means, I consider how much writing makes me feel like me.
13. It is (almost) never a bad idea for me to sit down and write.
The only exception is when I’m feeling burnt out. Then, I’ll take a break, and at some point during that break, I can’t wait to get back to the page.
14. When I give myself the accountability I need, the writing becomes even more fun.
One of the biggest gifts I gave myself during my twenties was accepting my need for accountability. I’m grateful to be entering a new decade no longer viewing this need as a weakness.
15. Many of my dearest friendships have formed through the writing community.
Speaking as a rare breed of extroverted writer, this one is especially important to me. I can’t imagine my life today without the friendships I have formed with people who take this art as seriously as I do.
16. Writing makes reading more fun.
I’ve heard some writers complain that writing takes the fun out of reading because they are overanalyzing every book they crack. For me, though, it’s just the opposite. I love reverse-engineering books while I read.
17. Sometimes, I surprise myself when I write.
This is probably the most magical thing about writing: distilling truth. Writing my way to a sentence that stuns me with its exactitude. Re-reading it and thinking, Damn. That’s spot-on.
18. Writing makes me excited about other people’s writing lives.
There’s nothing I love more than talking to someone who writes and asking them, “How’s your writing going?” If it’s going well for them, celebrating that fact is so much fun. But if they’re struggling, I feel like I always know what to say. It’s because I, too, have struggled in my writing. I, too, have had to answer “not so great” when asked that question. And when other writers have told me something that shows me that writing is always worth it, it has kept me moving forward.
That’s why I started this newsletter in the first place. I wanted to help writers celebrate their victories on and off the page.
19. Throughout my twenties, I’ve gotten to travel to some amazing places because of writing.
I spent my early twenties traveling up to Cambridge, MA twice a year for my low-residency MFA program’s residencies. Since then, I’ve attended workshops in Italy and Big Sur, and I spent three weeks at a particularly special residency on the Florida marsh.
Plus, I’m about to head to Seattle in March for the AWP conference! These reasons to travel have been such a gift.
20. Writing has taught me how to commit to myself.
Every writer knows that writing requires dedicated time and space. Dedicating myself to making that space has granted me a sense of self-love that I never saw coming.
21. Writing has clarified what I can’t control.
Things I can’t control: the entire publishing industry. Which agents and editors say “yes” to my submissions and queries. Any writing opportunity happening on a certain timeline. (I spent years telling people, “I want to publish a book before I turn 35,” and now I see how bogus that is.)
22. But at the same time, writing has also put into perspective the things I can control.
Things I can control: planning ahead in order to ensure that I have enough time to write. Saying “no” to certain social invitations in order to protect my writing time. Keeping my eyes peeled for a cheap Airbnb where I can go and have a few nights of uninterrupted writing time.
Kara Cutruzzula said it best in a recent issue of her newsletter:
“Create the odds that are in your favor.”
23. Writing gives me a chance to connect with complete strangers.
It never ceases to amaze me how, when I share my writing with the world, people reach back out. (If you, dear reader, have ever done that through this newsletter: thank you.)
24. I’ve never regretted writing something.
25. In fact, I’ve only ever regretted *not* having written something.
And whenever I experience that regret, it’s an invitation to finally getting around to writing through that idea.
26. My writing time is often the best part of my day.
Once I cracked the code to becoming a morning writer, I hit the ground running.
27. Like most things in life, writing is much more fun when I do it with a friend.
One of the best things I’ve done for my writing life was making a zine with a pal. My good friend Aysha Miskin and I created a zine called Nickname together in 2017. I did the writing; Aysha did the art.
At a time when I felt shy about sharing my work with the world, Aysha built up my confidence and helped me take the plunge.
28. There are few things greater than when my loved ones read and respond to my writing.
Nothing makes me feel quite so seen and loved than that.
29. This year, for the first time in my life, I have felt 100% committed to my writing.
For years, I had doubts. I wondered if there was something else out there for me. Now, I can’t see any alternative.
I’ve spent my first 30 years on this planet proving to myself that I need to spend as much of my time on writing as I can.
30. And I’ll get to spend the next 30 years writing even more.
And hopefully, if I’m very lucky, I’ll have 30 more years after that.
Thank you for reading this special birthday edition of my newsletter.
And if you became a paying subscriber today, holy mackerel—thank you so, so much for supporting my work.
Get 25% off for 1 year
What do you love most about writing? ›
I love to write because it allows my mind to go to anyplace it wants to with no restrictions. Writing, I've found,is a way to express myself in ways I may not otherwise be comfortable doing. I enjoy writing because I love being able to express myself and my own ideas. I enjoy writing because it has so much freedom.What are 10 things to write about? ›
- Favorite foods.
- Favorite tv shows.
- Favorite form of entertainment.
- Favorite book.
- Favorite video games.
- Favorite games and/or board games.
- Favorite childhood memory.
- Favorite season.
What Is a 30-Day Writing Challenge? A 30-day writing challenge is what it sounds like: a program designed to make you write every day for 30 days.Why do I love writing lists? ›
Lists can keep us from procrastinating. We put this one off until the end. Making a list enables us to get our heads around really big tasks — and helps us tackle the work one aspect at a time. But a list is only useful if it reveals a truth, solves a problem or leads to action.What makes your writing special? ›
A good writer should know the subject of discussion deeply, have a thorough understanding of the target audience, write relevant, quality content that has a logical flow of events and still grabs the audience' attention. 7. Good writers are unique – that makes people want to read them. They create their own style.What can I write about everyday? ›
- Write down your goals every day.
- Keep a daily log.
- Journal three things you're grateful for every day.
- Journal your problems.
- Journal your stresses.
- Journal your answer to “What's the best thing that happened today?” every night before bed.
The following is a brief description of five qualities of good writing: focus, development, unity, coherence, and correctness.What are the 6 qualities of good writing? ›
The Six Traits of writing are Voice, Ideas, Presentation, Conventions, Organization, Word Choice, and Sentence Fluency. It creates a common vocabulary and guidelines for teachers to use with students so that they become familiar with the terms used in writing.What is your biggest challenge as a writer? ›
- WRITER'S BLOCK. This is what you feel when you find it difficult to write. ...
- LACK OF IDEAS. ...
- LACK OF PRODUCTIVITY. ...
- LACK OF CONFIDENCE. ...
- GETTING REAL CLIENTS. ...
- THE FEAR OF SELLING. ...
- INABILITY TO GET TRACTION. ...
- TOO MUCH COMPETITION.
- Make your writing more emotion-driven by reading poetry. ...
- Deepen your knowledge by reading non-fiction. ...
- Improve your structure by reading your heroes.
What are some challenges in writing? ›
- difficulty getting started on writing assignments.
- easy distractibility during writing tasks.
- mental fatigue or tiredness while writing.
- inconsistent legibility in writing.
- uneven writing tempo.
- many careless errors.
- poorly planned papers and reports.
Why is writing important? It's the fuel that drives communication, and communication serves as a framework for society. Clear communication—and hence, good writing—is critical because it facilitates coworker collaborations, business transactions and interpersonal interactions.Why do I want to write? ›
We write because we've felt things, struggled through things, and want to help others find their way along those rocky paths. We write because we've learned something that could help others through the unexpectedness of life. We write because we see things in a way many others don't, and we know would benefit them.What makes writing beautiful and interesting? ›
The precision of language — making use of the wonderful richness and delicate nuances of the denotative and connotative meanings of words to transfer a vivid, evocative, high-resolution understanding of the ideas of one mind into another mind — even better when the writer has a sensitivity to the sonorities of phrases ...What are some things people write? ›
- Emails. According to Lifewire.com, people around the world send more than two billion emails per day. ...
- Instant Messages. ...
- Lists. ...
- Forms. ...
- Journaling. ...
- Agendas. ...
- 9 Important Ways You Will Benefit From Writing Every Day. ...
- Develop a writing habit. ...
- Develop your writing muscle. ...
- Your writing style will emerge over time. ...
- You will become more fluent. ...
- You will find you write faster. ...
- You get to know your audience better. ...
- You get to know yourself better.
- 1 Get inspired by a song.
- 2 Reinvent a childhood memory.
- 3 Write about a person you see every day but don't really know.
- 4 If your pet were a person . . .
- 5 Write about what you wanted to be when you grew up.
- 6 Grab a writing prompt to-go.
- 7 Use Google to find related topics.
Therefore, 3 in words is written as Three.How do you write 20 in writing? ›
20 in words is Twenty.How do you write 5 in words? ›
How can the number 5 be written in words? 5 can be written in words as “Five”.
What are 4 most important parts of an essay? ›
- The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement.
- The body presents your evidence and arguments.
- The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance.
Good essays have a clear introduction, thesis, and conclusion.What are 5 common popular college essay topics? ›
- Prompt #1: Share your story.
- Prompt #2: Learning from obstacles.
- Prompt #3: Challenging a belief.
- Prompt #4: Solving a problem.
- Prompt #5: Personal growth.
- Prompt #6: What captivates you?
- Prompt #7: Topic of your choice.
- Describe a person you admire.
- 1 | Things That Make You Happy. ...
- 2 | Things You Are Good At. ...
- 3 | Things You Want to Learn. ...
- 4 | Things You Are Grateful For. ...
- 5 | Things You Don't Do Enough. ...
- 6 | Articles You Want to Read. ...
- 7 | Books You Want to Read.
- Favorite Movie or Movies.
- Favorite Holiday.
- Favorite Pet.
- Favorite Toy.
- Favorite Season.
- Favorite Place.
- Social Media: Instagram vs TikTok.
- Favorite Food.
- Art. censorship of art and artists. ...
- Business & Money. small vs large business. ...
- Communication & Personality. technology and communication. ...
- Crime & Punishment. prisons vs rehabilitation. ...
- Economics. cash vs credit cards. ...
- Education. children and education. ...
- Environment. animals. ...
- Family & Children.