Best of Be a Brilliant Writer 2019

“We should learn to savor some moments to let time feel worth existing” — Munia Khan Click To Tweet


Dear Brilliant Writer:

Okay, heads up, this article is going to be rather personal.

 A couple years ago, I recapped my year by writing a letter to myself, linking to some of my most important articles. A year after that, I summed up the year by simply listing favorite articles, organized by category. (You can find those articles if you dig through my old archives)

This year’s going to be a little different.

2019 started out promising, full of hope and excitement. Partway through, I had a painful flare up of an old illness, experienced a broken relationship with a family member, and was abandoned by a colleague I’d trusted.

Thankfully, the first two healed over time, and the third turned out to be a blessing in disguise — I came to realize that some partings are for the best. But for several months, I was barely hanging in there.

Yet, of course there were many blessings as well:

I insisted on keeping up my reading/writing/publication schedule as closely as I could (thank God for the energy/motivation to get the bare minimum done, in spite of everything), and managed to eke by.

And in the craziness of everything, was still able to produce articles like these:

7 Most important articles of 2019

Want to be a Productive Writer? Do NOT Write Every Day

This is a lesson that I was semi-forced to re-learn this year. While writing can definitely a way to deal with stress and unhappiness, it can also be a cause of undue stress and pressure if you don’t take breaks now and then.

20+ Things I’m Thankful for in 2019

Every November, I reflect on a couple dozen+ things I’m thankful for. I’ve been doing this since I was a teen, and it’s my way of refocusing on the good and overcome the evil that’s always biting at our heels.

As Solzhenitsyn said,

“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart.”

So staying grateful isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s part of our arsenal in the war against evil.

The Last Guide You’ll Need to Find the Best Laptop for Writers 2019

A writer is always “on.” That’s why I decided to chronicle my own search for a new laptop this year in a Monster Post and Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Laptop.

This article took dozens of hours to research and write, and includes everything from how to understand tech-y terminology and understand various computer specifications to how to apply that knowledge and select the best laptop for your needs.

You Need to Write the Story That Tears Your Heart Out (Here’s Why)

A famous Robert Frost quote goes like this:

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”

In this article, I tell the story of one famous writer’s personal tragedy that resulted in a bestselling novel and movie that’s touched hearts around the world.

How to Crush 1 Year of Writing Goals in 1 Month

Sometimes, in order to get something substantial done, you have to do it all at once. What are you capable of, when you stop telling yourself that you can’t do it?

This article explores that question and more, and discusses some month-long major projects I’ve pulled off in the past!

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Fail-Proof Articles (Checklist Inside)

This article lists everything I learned about writing quality articles efficiently in the past few years. There are a few surprising tips in here! As one reader said:

Really great advice here! I started reading expecting to see lots of advice I already heard, but you actually have some really interesting points that I think will help me with my writing.

How to Promote Yourself Even if You Hate, Fear, or Despise Self-Promotion

I believe there are many great artists and writers out there who are holding back the gifts they’ve been given because they are afraid to promote themselves. As Roman Genn said:

“Many excellent artists working today, unfortunately, lack the [gift for] self-promotion, while the bad ones are full of passionate intensity.”

So this article is for you: For those of you out there who struggle to “let your light shine,” so to speak!

The Bible for Writers: This Book Will Teach You How to Write Powerful, Life-Changing Stories

The title says it all 🙂

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

A few other notable things that happened this year:

  • Set up and redesigned the Be a Brilliant Writer site
  • Started a couple other web/art/design/learning projects, including the 30 Day Project, music site, and my freelance writing site (will continue to update and tinker with these through 2020~!)
  • Learned the basics of music production
  • Honed my book notes strategy and began the monthly emailed Brilliant Writer Reading List 
  • I opened my first writing course for Be a Brilliant Writer
  • I revived my language learning goals and memorized 1,000 vocabulary words
  • Oh, and also, in 2019, I read another 120+ books (which will be summarized in an upcoming article, stay tuned 😉)

If you are looking for a year-end tie-up activity, I would recommend writing yourself a brief year summary as well. It’s an interesting exercise and may help clear out some mental cobwebs.

And don’t forget to send me a link when you’ve finished!

*If you want a more guided journaling experience, you can check this out: 


Now, for one final question…

What would you like to see from Be a Brilliant Writer in 2020?

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