Not so long ago, finding information on writing and publishing involved a lot more searching and a lot less learning. These days the web is brimming with excellent advice and resources on everything from grammar to print on demand. You can find tutorials on YouTube, motivational calendars, support groups, charts/graphs/tracking apps, and just about anything else you could want. While the list is near endless, below are a few of our favorites. Check them out, and share yours in the comments below.
1. Knowledge and Inspiration
I’ve read a lot of books on writing, including:
- On Writing by Stephen King
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
- Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
As well as less traditional writing books like:
- The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tressa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff
Books on inspiration like:
- Big Magic by Melissa Gilbert
I cannot say that one of these titles helped me more than the others or is my go-to writing recommendation, but over the years each has helped me to become inspired or to gain some knowledge when I was ready (or my well had run dry).
When someone asks me for writing advice, I usually give them a list based on the collective wisdom of these authors and a million others, all of it gathered through my writing journey. To you, I suggest: build your own. Learn and grow via books, blog posts, practice and revision. If you don’t have the finances for every book you want on writing, fear not. There are so many great resources out there for free, many of which have been condensed into easy to digest lists and graphics and tips.
A few popular writing/author resources are:
There are many, many more. Find the one that fits best with your style and your needs, and hit it whenever you want a bump of inspiration.
Another way tech has shifted the landscape of writing is literally the way in which writers write. Over the years, I’ve typed out scenes on desktop, laptop, iPad, phone, and tablet. My writing programs have varied from Notepad to Word, Google Docs to Scrivener. I’m being automatically backed up on the cloud, emailing files to myself, and thoroughly covering bases in case of disaster. My biggest trial in a computer crash will be which version of the backup file is the most recent.
I currently use Scrivener for writing, which has a great outlining tool and the ability to move scenes. But I still love Word. None of the many methods for getting words down is wrong, so go with whichever fits your lifestyle. Whether it’s an AlphaSmart or a traditional (internet-free) typewriter, getting your story recorded is what counts. Find your style and roll with it, but be open to other methods. Many NYT Bestselling authors still outline with Post-its stuck to their walls.
I was lucky enough to find writing friends as a newbie. Looking back, they’ve prevented me from doing a lot of things wrong, and taught me so much about writing and writing resources. I recommend finding your people, through whatever platform you prefer, to learn and grow together, sharing information and building your skill. No idea where to begin? Try this critique partner connection set up by author Maggie Stiefvater:
Critique partners and beta readers are important to get your writing into shape before sending it off to an editor. Find more tips and recommendations in this previous Writing Hacks post on editing:
And more on the writing process here:
Another use for the endless depths of the internet is the ability to quickly search for synonyms, definitions, and word usage. I’ve spent many hours on Google, but you can also find helpful tips at sites like Grammar Girl.
I hope these lists have provided you with something new and useful to aid in your writing journey. Check back soon for part 2 of this post, Publishing Resources