Because we all know what readers REALLY mean when they say they’re buying your books “for the plot,” amirite?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Romi Yusardi on Unsplash

Ah, sex. Hanky panky. The Deed. The horizontal mambo.

Doing the dirty.

Plowing the field.

Hm, too pastoral? Well, you get the idea.

Sex is one of those things that can fill so many roles (and…holes?) within your story, it’s hard to keep track of them all. It can be a plot device, a character turning point, a trait, a twist, a marketing ploy (steamy excerpts, anyone?), or a page filler.

Sex scenes are also really fun to write, in my opinion. Alas, they can be one of the most difficult arenas for a writer to master, and when they’re…


Sometimes your routines won’t look much like routines…at first glance. But there’s power hiding inside the chaos, if you only know where to look.

productive chaos of a disordered city
productive chaos of a disordered city
Photo by Peter Nguyen on Unsplash

It’s an accepted fact that most of history’s greatest discoveries were accidents. Humans are, as a whole, wonderful at creating said accidents — it’s a talent, really.

How many other animals can consistently f*** up, then turn those f*** ups into awesome inventions? When you think about it, most of our existence could be characterized as a serendipitous series of accidents, mishaps, and unexpected tangents.

So why do we spend untold amounts of time trying to structure ourselves to death? Is the “perfect” routine or the “optimal” schedule really going to give you the success you’re searching for?

I’m here…


Many posts have been written on the wisdom of cats. This is not one of them, because my cat isn’t wise. Still, he‘s got some worthwhile lessons for us all.

Image for post
Image for post
Picture Of Norbert Courtesy Of Author’s Boyfriend

Norbert was an accident. No one could have planned a creature as special as him — he is clearly the result of questionable decisions, a late-night adventure, and a genetic anomaly.

He is either an F3 or F4 Savannah cat that was not listed as such when I adopted him. No, he was simply adrift, a kitten lost in the flooding when hurricane Florence inundated Wilmington, NC.

His mom happened to be pregnant with him when this event occurred, and she happened to be rescued near a less-than-scrupulous Savannah Cat breeder, but who could have predicted this outcome?

For those…


Creative constipation is an ailment like no other, but you don’t have to be its slave — here’s a guide to consistently beating the crap out of writer’s block.

sneaky goat staring out at the audience in a suspicious way
sneaky goat staring out at the audience in a suspicious way
Photo by Cate Bligh on Unsplash

If they sold brain laxatives at CVS, I’d have a lifetime supply stacked up in my medicine cabinet. Nothing is worse than moving through your motivational ‘writer’s morning montage’ only to sit down and experience…it.

The block. The hurdle. The vast and yawning abyss of that beast called writer’s block. It ought to come complete with sound effects: the deafening screech of machinery coming to a halt, perhaps, or a comical descending trumpet note.

Alas, it is usually a silent affair, and in more ways than one. That’s really what a block comes down to. Painful, stubborn, unyielding silence. It…


Who are you allowing into your creative life? Who gets to define what it means for YOU to be a writer?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

I’m selfish. I prioritize myself proudly, frequently, and in all manner of situations. It’s a quality I’ve developed intentionally over the course of my 24 years on this planet, and it’s a skill I fully intend to continue developing for however many I’ve got left.

Is it because I’m a spoiled, privileged only child from the “Zillennial” generation? Is it because I’m a flaming narcissist with no compassion for others’ needs and wants?

Is it because I’m just a big ol’ a-hole who needs a firm kick in the backside?

Well, I’d like to think it’s none of these things…


Creatives live life in a state of anticipation — but sometimes the best thing you can do for your art is to take a breath and SLOW THE F*** DOWN.

snail sliming over a writing implement
snail sliming over a writing implement
Photo by Pascal van de Vendel on Unsplash

There’s something singularly depressing about snail races. Yes, that is a real, actual activity that people engage in. Google it.

Anyway, I think they’re so sad. I mean, sure, it’s kind of cute to see a bunch of chubby little gastropods sliming their merry way toward lettuce, but the whole thing is a perversion of their true strengths! Snails aren’t supposed to be raced.

Of course, that’s the point of the whole snail-race establishment. It’s meant to be ironic. But there’s a deeper life lesson dwelling within the unsuspecting (and mucus-y) wake of our shelled little friends.

Certain things aren’t…


Just because you CAN squeeze 10 topics out each week, that doesn’t mean you SHOULD. It’s time to talk about mindset, value, and the art of being boring.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

That’s right, bad b*** squad — I’m back at it with the (relative) controversy. I’m about to blow a hole in the concept of finding endless things to write about. Madness. Insanity. [Insert more adjectives here].

You’ve heard the advice. Write an article a day, or at least five times per week. Keep a list of ideas and never stop adding to it. Make topics happen even when you don’t feel inspired, because muses are undependable little assholes who probably won’t show up if you so much as blink hopefully in their direction.

All of this is good advice, conceptually…


Try these 5 tips to become a force of abject chaos, just like me!

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ybrayym Esenov on Unsplash

Well, everyone, it’s me! I’m back! Where did I go, you ask? That’s classified.

Anyway, there’s a lot of writing advice floating around out there in the sultry air, and some of it is actually rather helpful. Guess what? I don’t care! I destroy advice like some kind of demented cadre of apocalyptic horsemen on acid, their plagues missing every possible mark and bringing about nothing but a whole lot of confused theologians.

Which is to say — I suck at following foundational writing advice. It’s not for lack of dedication, either. Do you know how many blogs, newsletters, and…


Are you stuck in Bob’s Bargain Basement when it comes to getting hired? Here’s a ladder — come join me in the “actual liveable income” department.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by kerry rawlinson on Unsplash

While perusing job boards and scanning the freelancer landscape — with fancy opera binoculars, as one does — I often find myself in the mental state of a person watching a trainwreck occur in realtime.

You know nothing good can come of watching such a disaster unfold, but you simply can’t look away. My internal dialogue during such incidents could be condensed into a general feeling of “Oh no, baby! What is you doing?!”


A tale of Jesus, jellyfish, and suffering. Oh, and Choco-Tacos.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jessica Delp on Unsplash

I didn’t know I was going to Bible Camp. My parents, who literally chose and signed me up for said camp, didn’t know either.

To be fair, the brochure was pretty vague, but…the signs were there. My mom and dad just didn’t bother to read the whole thing. The attitude was more: “It has great safety ratings, and the bayside setting looks gorgeous. Let’s sign you up, kid!”

Thus began a very unwanted 2–week-long spiritual journey that not only caused me to renounce Christianity forever, but also made me gain at least 4 pounds in pure, Christian-Hippie-Counselor-fueled stress.

Oh, and…

Emily Sinclair Montague

Emily Sinclair Montague is a professional writer, author, and content strategist. Connect with her at www.wordsofafeather.net or on Twitter (@EmilytheMontag1)!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store