tagged with: Writers Resources

As writers we are always researching to find information that will help us improve our writing skills and market ourselves. There are many good websites for writers, some of which I subscribe to and receive regular updates from them in my mailbox. I have been greatly helped by some of them and thought I would pass on the information to you. I hope the following list will be helpful:

1. American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI)

This site offers excellent courses – live as well as virtual – in copywriting, photography, travel writing and freelance writing in general. Once you sign up for one of their courses you get their newsletter with up to date information on their conferences as well as other ways to build your business.

2. Bloggerlinkup.com

If you are looking for ways to link up with other bloggers either by posting to their blogs or having them post to yours, this site is a great way to do so. Through the site you can also request sources for interviews and reviews, announce your giveaways, contests and the like. A great resource for bloggers.

3. BookDaily.com

This is a site I recently came across. On this site writers get to post their profile, the title of their book, a short summary and the first chapter of their book and it is seen by visitors to the site. If you want advanced promotion where your information is sent by email to their subscribers, you pay a fee.

4. Book Buzzr.

What better way to buzz your book than by posting regular tweets to your followers? Book Buzzr allows you to do that and more, and best of all most of it is free. When you use the look inside feature, your readers get to read an excerpt from your book on your site or on Book Buzzr.

5. Funds For Writers

This site is managed by Hope Clark, writer and editor, and features articles on freelance and fiction writing as well as a listing of contests, markets, grants and retreats. It has been listed by Writer’s Digest among the 101 best websites for writers.

6. Freelance Writing Jobs

As the name suggests, this site gives a listing of writing jobs, both local and remote. It also gives valuable writing tips and encouragement to writers.

7. Mediabistro.com

No serious freelance writer should be without a membership to this site. In addition to offering some of the best online freelance writing courses available, you can also receive health and dental insurance at reduced premiums, How-to-Pitch articles, tax services and a host of other benefits. The How-to-Pitch articles are one of my favorite features of the site.

8. The Working Writers Club

This is a site where writers get to meet each other virtually, exchange ideas and learn more about the business of freelance writing. I am a member of this group and have benefited greatly from interacting with other members, from the daily hints and tips put out by the coach, Suzanne Lieurance and from the monthly teleclass. This is a good and inexpensive way to learn more about improving yourself as a freelance writer.

9. Writer Beware Blogs

There are so many scams out there nowadays and writers, because they generally operate as solopreneurs, are very vulnerable to these scam artists. This is why you need to visit Writer Beware Blogs to acquaint yourself with the many pitfalls that unsuspecting writers sometimes get themselves into.

10. Writer’s Digest

This post would not be complete without a mention of this giant among writers’ resources. With articles from top notch agents and experts in the business, writing materials, conferences and contests, Writer’s Digest delivers again and again.

So, there you have it. The Top Ten, if you want to call it that. I am sure you have your favorite websites that you frequent. Please drop me a line and let me know, or if any of the above have been especially helpful to you, I would be happy to know.

I couldn’t think of a better topic for the W in the A – Z challenge than to tell you about the Working Writer’s Club. This is a writers’ networking site that provides you with resources and opportunities to grow and succeed as a writer.

As a member of the club, you can:

Participate in live teleclasses each week. Writing coach, Suzanne Lieurance conducts this class which features tips to help you hone your writing skills and increase your earnings as a freelance writer.

Network with other club members. One of the things that Suzanne stresses is the importance of having a weekly marketing plan for your writing. You can receive feedback for this in The Working Writer’s Club Forums. You can also post your query letters here and have them reviewed BEFORE you send them off to editors.

Access the Working Writer’s Club Resource Center. Here you will find helpful articles, templates, forms, and other great resources to help you in your work as a freelance writer.

Take your book on a 5-Day Virtual Book Tour. This month several of our members are getting exposure for themselves and their books through virtual book tours hosted by other members.

Receive Discounts and Special Offers. Suzanne offers lots of products and resources to members of the club that are not available to anyone else.

Get Exposure for yourself and your writing. As a member of the club you get to post your articles on the site with a link back to your site, which gets you noticed by the search engines. Our Facebook Friday chats and tweets are other ways you gain exposure through the club.

Basic charter membership in The Working Writer’s Club is now available for only $9.99 per month (or save 20% when you pay a year in advance – just $99.99 per year). That’s less than what you pay for a cup of coffee a day. As a charter member of the club your membership fee will never increase while you remain a member.

If you are serious about becoming a successful writer, do what I did. Join the Working Writer’s Club today.

Every writer needs to have some kind of networking support in order to grow and become more proficient in his craft. One form of support is the critique group, which means just that – members critique each other’s work and provide helpful feedback on different areas of the work. If it is non-fiction, the critique may focus on grammar, sentence structure, content, relevance and development of the subject matter. If it is fiction, members may focus on theme, point of view, character development, setting, dialog and narrative in addition to grammar and sentence structure. (more…)

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It’s a joy to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year! If you are a writer, you are probably looking forward to the New Year so you can achieve some of  the goals that eluded you this year.  Or, maybe you would like to correct  a few mistakes here and there. In addition, you may be reflecting on all that took place over the past months.  Whatever your situation, I wish you much success in the new year. (more…)

Stephen King, American author best known for h...
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As writers, I believe we owe it to ourselves and our profession, (yes, writing is a profession) to strive for excellence. We cannot be content with just slapping something out on our keyboards, posting it somewhere and smacking our lips, thinking we have done our duty. We need to make sure that anything we sign our names to bears the mark of excellence.

Where would the world be if we never had a Beethoven, a Mozart, a Dickens or a Wouk? Would we have even known the meaning of the terms “creativity”, “artistry”, “genius”? The world will always make room for excellence, but will be indifferent to mediocrity and sloppiness.

Everyday I read things in print and online written by seasoned writers that make me shudder. Some of them have clearly not been proofread, while others are just habitual errors some writers make. This one is a comedy of errors, you might say, although it’s not funny: The prices of shoes varies dependant of where you but them from.  This one is from an ad: Very interested in how your marketing.  From another ad: You can make your own decisions and place your bid. Then set back and wait.

Avoiding these errors can be very easy if you would only take the time to carefully proofread your work before clicking the submit button. Or, better still, have someone else check it for you. If you are a beginning writer, you may be able to conceive plots that will make Stephen King blanch with fear, but unless you can master the basics of grammar and structure, you will be missing the mark. There are many books on the market that will teach you all you need to know to make your writing flawless.

One of my favorites, and I daresay the favorite of many, is The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E.b. White. In just 85 pages, the writers cover  such topics as punctuation, grammar, composition, commonly misused words and expressions and Style. Another gem,  Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman deals with the same areas, but in greater detail. There is also a section on Spelling. If you prefer, you can always take a course at your local college or online. But make sure it’s a reputable site.  Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. The more you write, the more proficient you will become.

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by Beth Ann Erickson

Intuition is the deep knowingness inside yourself. It’s that place within you where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you’re doing is right or wrong for you at the moment.

Living intuitively, life is a joy, your work a pleasure. When you don’t listen to your intuition, you’ll stumble, life will be difficult. Everything you do will feel like swimming up stream.

You find yourself self sabotaging yourself. You may forget to answer e-mails. You won’t return calls. You’ll find yourself doing anything except tend to the task at hand.

In a similar vein, when you follow another person’s path (which is exactly what you’re doing when you’re not following your intuition), the same thing will happen. You will self sabotage the project. You won’t feel joy. You will have an inner sense of panic.

So it’s imperative to follow your intuition because your path will always be unique… never quite the same as other writers.

Where one writer will share a trick to do “this” and another writer will share a trick to do “that,” these techniques may or may not work in your situation.

It’s important to take into account your personality whenever you’re evaluating marketing techniques.

I’d darn near die (literally) if I had to cold call editors. I have no problem contacting people if we have a prior relationship, but to call out of the blue? No way.

That’s just the way I’m wired. I accept it and work around that inability.

Some people may dislike writing queries and sales letters. Then cold call. Send e-mails. Do what works for you.

This is why it’s so important to follow your hunches no matter how far off the beaten path it may be.

Your activities may make no sense to the person watching your life, it may look bizarre to others, in fact, your hunches may not make sense to you either.

But in your spirit, in your soul, all will make perfect sense. And that’s what matters.

How to Know You’re on the Right Track

When you’re on the right track, career-wise, you’ll experience love. You will experience joy. You will find yourself in a high-powered creative zone.

Ah, but what about money? How will I make a living doing something far off the beaten path?

Or worse yet, how will I understand how my writing career will unfold without knowing the end result of my actions?

To that I say, your first goal should not be to rake in the big bucks.

Your first impulse should always be joy.

It’s been my experience that money flows towards joy.

This is because when you’re writing in a state of joy, you won’t self sabotage yourself. You won’t feel anchors beneath your feet. You will feel incredible peace while clients, customers, buyers will be drawn to that same incredible peace.

Your first and foremost plan should not be gaining wealth. However, on the other hand, if your grand plan, if your Polaris is to accumulate great wealth as a writer, if that is your joy, you just may find yourself in a very hollow situation later on.

This is because accumulating wealth isn’t in and of itself a negative thing.

However, making wealth your sole purpose in a writing career seems to stem the ebb and flow of creativity. And ironically you may find yourself without a message, without anything to share with your reader.

What a bummer, eh?

I know far too many copywriters (those who write advertising) who entered the biz for the promise of high pay. Many have gone on and done quite well.

Thing is, most are avid “swipers.” Some border on plagiarism.

This means that alone in a room, without their swipe file, they probably couldn’t come up with an elegant, solid sales piece more than flap their arms and fly to the moon.

They may be making the big bucks, but they also get to contend with the continually niggling feeling of inadequacy wondering if and when they’ll ever develop the chops to build their own message from the ground up.

It’s tough to do when you’ve short circuited intuition.

Mark my words, these non-writers will not enjoy long lasting writing careers. They simply can’t. They don’t know how to write.

But I’m off track. Back to it.

If your first path is joy, and if you’re committed to spreading that same joy, the money will make its way towards you and you will live a full, happy, and beautiful life.

Truth be told, the only path to joy leads through the door of intuition.
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This article written by Beth Erickson is one that every writer, aspiring or seasoned, should take seriously. When you write with intuition and joy, your readers can sense it and will come back to it again and again. Without joy, your writing will be as flat as the paper it is written on.  

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This morning I left home a little later than I should have for my morning walk. The reason was that I simply thought I would lie in bed a little longer, but the increasing brightness on the other side of my window shades reminded me that time was not waiting on me. So I got up and went for my walk. Fortunately, by the time I got to the park it  felt around 70 degrees and there was still a nice number of walkers/joggers to keep me motivated.

What does this have to do with writing, you are probably asking? Discipline. The same thing that gets you out of bed every morning, is the same thing it takes to get you in front of the computer to write something. Or to send out those queries or to read a book on writing.

I have to confess that I am still lacking in the discipline department. No, that’s not entirely true. Work and household duties sometimes get in the way of my writing. I do not spend as much time as I would like to, doing what I love. But I do write or engage in writing activities everyday. Whether it is for a client, for Livestrong or critting for my online group, I manage to squeeze in a little something everyday. And that, like exercise, is what counts.

I know that if I’m to eventually drop those two dress sizes by Christmas, as I plan to, I have to do what it takes to achieve that goal. In the same way if I’m to become a successful writer I must write every day.  So here’s to discipline. Do you struggle with discipline in any area of your life? Leave your comments below.

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     This morning I stepped out of my daughter’s house in Florida intending to run some errands, but the heat sent me scurrying for cover. Summer is here. What a contrast to a few months earlier when Floridians complained it was too cold. In Georgia where I live we enjoy the changing of the seasons, a  natural phenomenon that never fails to fill me with awe.  The lush foliage and vibrant colors of spring give way to a sea of summer green, then to the red, orange and brown of fall and finally the dry, naked branches of winter.

For those of us who are writers, we may encounter seasonal changes in our writing. Our prolific pages of heart-stopping poetry or prose may become scarcer and scarcer until we are suddenly staring at a blank page.  What happened?  Call it writer’s block or whatever you will, it’s not a pleasant experience. What can we do about it? Write! That’s the only answer.  But what can you write when your mind is as dense as a foggy morning in Georgia? Write whatever comes to your mind. If you are working on a novel, don’t think, just keep on writing. If you are working on an article, put it aside and start writing about … fog?  Why not?

When you do this a few things will happen. Your novel plot will move in a direction you never envisioned. Your characters  begin acting in ways you didn’t program them to act,  your article takes  on a new dimension and you gain a new perspective on … fog. But the best part of all is that your writer’s block will become dislodged and you will enter a new lush season of creativity. Try it!

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