This is a writing post, clearly. But before I get to my list of awesome blogs, an aside:
Recently, I went out of my (solitary, antisocial, hiding-in-a-dark-corner) comfort zone and went on an audition. I know, insane. But there’s this national event called, Listen To Your Mother, and it features 12 essayists reading their work aloud on Mother’s Day. This is a stretch for me for two major reasons: one, I’m primarily a fiction writer (with the exception of what I write on this blog, of course) and two, I rarely have the occasion to read my work aloud. Not to mention in front of a huge audience.
The essay, in case you’re curious, compares my mother’s labor toward death, which I witnessed, to my own labor with Bunky. Two entirely different things, you’d think, but more like flip sides of a coin.
Well. The good news is that I mustered up my courage and auditioned. Even better, I reworked an unfinished piece and polished it up nice and pretty-like. The not as good news is I didn’t make the cut. They had over 70 auditions and only 12 spots. Plus, the essays need to tell a story of sorts, and perhaps mine didn’t fit in. Who knows. In any case, I’m proud that I gave it a shot. I plan on submitting the piece to other places and maybe it will find a home after all. Truthfully, I’d rather have it published and read by others than read it aloud in front of an audience.
Because most of us writers are not actually performers (though I’m sure some are). We tend to come from a more solitary stock, the kind that skulks in the back of bookstores and hunkers down in front of computers. But there are moments when we need help, and thank goodness for the Internet, because it is FILLED with free advice.
On the flip side, since we’re talking about flip sides, it’s very easy to get buried beneath TOO much free advice – the good and the bad. It helps to first find the writing blogs that you like, that speak to your style, and then keep track of them on something like bloglovin (you can even follow me on it).
Now hang on, don’t go running off yet. Be careful not to follow too many blogs, because you may find yourself reading a whole lot about writing, but not writing so much. OR, trying to incorporate too much of other people’s advice into your work. My friend and fellow blogger, Kath, wrote a post about this, and other writing challenges, here, check it out. She’s a fab writer and illustrator whose site I often turn to for both insight and advice (and this is why I’ve added her as my 11th awesome blog!)
Getting back on topic here, the key is finding balance – read only the blogs you love, then filter through the individual posts, taking in ONLY what you need. Ignore the rest. This is the tricky part because once you start reading, you may think, oh crap I have to change everything about my story/novel/essay. It can really mess with your brain. My advice is try not to over think and go with your gut instead. No one is an expert on your WORK except you. Sure, other blogs can help you hone your craft and perfect certain techniques, but only you know what your story, novel, poem, or essay needs.
And now finally, here are the 10 writing blogs I’ve been perusing lately to help inspire me as I toil through my novel
revision rewrite. Maybe a few will appeal to you. But if not, don’t worry. Just find the ones that do. (And then tell me about them!)
In no particular order…
10 AWESOME WRITING BLOGS
- Helping Writers Become Authors … gotta love this blog name, and it happens to have some fantastic advice
- Live Write Thrive … great posts on technique and grammar, plus a wealth of info in the archives, check out her older series, The Heart of Your Story
- Fiction University (formerly, The Other Side of the Story) … insightful and practical posts by a fantasy writer, but the info is universal and spot on
- Terrible Minds … do you enjoy acerbic humor and foul language as much as I do? If yes, then look no further, the advice isn’t shabby either (actually, it’s pretty stellar)
- The Write Practice … where the other blogs are more advice driven, this is action driven with writing prompts and practice ideas
- Moody Writing … another fab name, right? Solid advice and eye catching images may get you in the mood (couldn’t resist, sorry)
- Write to Done … a place to go for inspiration and advice, plus writing prompts
- Goins, Writer … this Goins character writes posts that are practical and inspirational
- Writers Helping Writers … resources and hints from the authors of the Thesaurus series
- A Design So Vast … not a writing blog per say, but this woman’s posts often blow my mind, turning the seemingly mundane into magic and inspiring me to do the same
- * I know I’ve already hit 10, but I must add Minuscule Moments of Inspiration … the blogger I referenced earlier, whose writing and camaraderie I respect so much
There you have it. But this is only the tip of the iceberg of awesome writing blogs, so PLEASE share in comments about all the blogs I’m missing. Can’t wait to add them to my queue.