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  • Adelyn Sterling

The First Lesson Every Writer Must Learn

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

So you wrote a book, a poem, a short story — you scribbled something on a napkin. Congratulations, you're now a writer! Woot! You've felt the thrill of creation as words fly from your pen. Awesome! Like me, you've probably changed your twitter bio to include something like "writer of things" or "teller of tales" or some other clever way to tell the world that YOU ARE A WRITER.


Now that you're a writer, if you've finished anything, you've probably realized that writing is a long haul. Writing takes time. Learning to write well takes even longer. PUBLISHING a book takes longer still. Whatever your goal as a writer, there will be many ups and downs along the way. There will be setbacks. There will be times when life situations mean you have to put writing aside for a time. Health issues. Writer's block. Rejection. This isn't meant to scare you away from writing or authorship, but it's to help you understand my first rule of survival.

You are more than a writer. There are times when you will not be able to write at all, or times when you don't have the resources to write. When you're told no, or an opportunity passes you by, it's important that you find your identity in more than just writing. Find refuge in your people. Keep up with your hobbies. Keep drawing, or painting, or running. Never stop reading and reading widely.


When writing and publishing are getting in their hits on you, remember all that you are, all that makes you wonderful and unique. This is so so important. I have seen setbacks crush people who have put everything into their writing. Writing is an amazing gift and worth every struggle, but as with everything in life, it requires balance and perspective. Despite the huge investment of time and emotion it takes to write, remember you are more than just a writer.

When I think of who I am, whe

n I need to remember that writing isn't everything, I remind myself I'm a wife, a dog mom, an amazing DIYer, a daughter, a sister, a Christian, a marketing expert, and a major fangirl. Writing is something for me, but it's not everything.

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