Nicole Trilivas

Official Author Website

This. THIS.

“I grew ill with misery. One friend enjoys recalling the sight of my wandering pale as wallpaper paste along Regent’s Canal, demented with unhappiness, convinced I had no purpose in life. I simply had not realised how much my idea of myself as a writer was fundamental to my wellbeing.”

– Sarah Perry from her post entitled, Lightening Strikes, which every writer needs to read immediately: (Lightning strikes )



Please promise me you’ll read this whole piece (Lightning strikes) in its entirety? It took me so long to understand that I must write. The first job I can ever recall myself want was to a writer (well, actually it was a ballerina and a princess), but the first actually attainable job I ever wanted was a writer. A poet, actually. It was in third grade, I think. I had just learned that poets didn’t have to abide by the standard grammar rules, and I was sold!

I wanted to be other things as the years passed: an artist; an archeologist (I blame Indiana Jones); an advertising creative (which I did eventually get to be); but the writer thing was always in the back of my mind.

I wish I had the guts to pursue it. I didn’t listen to my instinct and I never even bothered to take one single creative writing class in college. But now as an adult (technically anyway), I understand that I must be writing. I must because it’s fundamental to my wellbeing.

XO Nicole


Don’t Forget To Live

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”

— Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling)


Harry P. is just filled with excellent advice! And JK Rowling is a wonder-goddess of plotting. All hail the queen! (That’s all I got for today)

How We Know

“We come to know a thing by its opposite. We learn joy through sadness, light through darkness, prosperity through poverty. Today, hone in on one obstacle you are facing. What beautiful quality is life attempting to teach you?”

I found this written down on a post-in in an old purse. I remember it being from some horoscope. (When I googled it, it said it was from a Kabbalah website so who knows?) Regardless, they’re still true and pretty words for me, even years later. This reminds me to be grateful for all that I have: the time and space to write; a healthy brain and moving fingers; clean water and hot coffee.



Writing Tip: Cross Train

Professional athletes cross train: runners lift weights, and weight lifters run. They understand that using different muscle groups can help their overall athletic performance.

My writing tip today is to cross train. Don’t just write in your genre. (When I say this I’m speaking to both myself and you.) I am by intuition a novelist: I naturally enjoy tinkering away on longer works and taking my time with something. But this is exactly why I’m blogging right now. I need to train my writer’s brain to think in shorter, terse, non fictional prose. When you blog you must get to the point quickly. There is rarely time for the veil of metaphor or the time to write and rewrite a simple post.

So this is me cross training. I am teaching my novelist self to write non fiction; short confessional memoir essays; and jazzy little listicles. I recommend you try to do the same.

Happy writing!

XO Nicole 

This is a pic of me running. HHAAHHAHA. No, no it's not.

This is a pic of me running. HHAAHHAHA. No, no it’s not.

We’re Not Here To Save Each Other

“You cannot save people. You can only love them.”

–Anaïs Nin


The Secret To Writing

Write as much as you can.
As fast as you can.
Finish your shit.
Hit your deadlines.
Try very hard not to suck.
The End.

–Chuck Wendig from Terrible Minds

Isn't it hard to eat healthy when you're a writer?

Isn’t it hard to eat healthy when you’re a writer?

I could live by these words. When I’m in my “creation” stage, I write 2,000 words a day, 5 days a week. I just write. I don’t go back and read what I wrote the day prior, and I don’t edit anything. My goal is just to write. The night before, I draft the scene in my head. I realized I used to do this as a child; I’d tell myself stories before falling asleep. This works for me, but I’m sure everyone has to figure out their own way. As long as you do some variant on the steps above, I can’t see how you could go wrong.



Every Artist’s Secret Hope

“Every artist secretly hopes his art will make him more attractive. Sometimes he or she imagines it is a lover, a child, a mentor who will be drawn to the work. But alone in the workshop it is the soul itself the artist labors to delight.”

–Lewis Hyde The Gift


On Writing Genre Fiction

“I was writing against my education and my upbringing. I was writing against reality itself — I was breaking rules, and not just the literary kind but the thermodynamic kind, too. It felt forbidden. It felt good. Better than good: it was the most profound, intense writing experience I’d ever had. The icy grip of reality on my fiction cracked, and a torrent of magic came rushing out…

It was as if all my life I’d been writing in a foreign language that I wasn’t quite fluent in, and now I’d found my mother tongue. It turned out I did have a voice after all. I’d had it all along. I just wasn’t looking for it in the right place.”

–Lev Grossman, Finding My Voice in Fantasy

This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. After writing two literary and dark novels that went exactly no where, I finally decided to write something “commercial.” I was in a bitter, bad place when I made this choice: I was sick of myself. Sick of the chill and darkness of my stories, and sick of how they still sat on hard drives unread. And so I rebelled against this by writing something lively, something sweet and fun about the one constant in my life that always made me happy: Travel.

And this was how my love of travel saved me again.

In even just writing about travel I found my salvation. When I wrote Girls Who Travel I understood I was writing in my mother tongue. The words came easy. I was faking it in the past, trying to be this imitation Iowa’s Workshop grad. I found my way back home. And I am happy here.


Belong To Yourself

“Women lose their lives not knowing they can do something different…I claimed myself and remade my life. Only when I knew I belonged to myself completely did I become capable of giving myself to another, of finding joy in desire, pleasure in our love, power in this body no one else owns.”

–Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know For Sure


The Glorious Mess

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert

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