Need Motivation/Tough Love?
Ira Glass on Storytelling
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” — Ira Glass
Writing Dreams and Harsh Realities by Tim Waggoner
Why Being a Writer is an Exercise in Cognitive Dissonance by Kameron Hurley
How a Writer Quiets their Self-Doubt by Chuck Wendig
Here’s How to Finish That Fucking Book by Chuck Wendig
Control What You Can Control by Chuck Wendig
And an editing staple, Kate’s Editing Checklist.
Query Exercises from various members of AbsoluteWrite
- My Guide to Getting a UK Literary Agent
- Getting Published: The Process
- 5 Ways to Get Ideas
- 3 Golden Rules to Avoid Writer’s Block
- How I Get Over Writing Stress and Writer’s Block
- AbsoluteWrite Forums
- Writing Excuses (particularly Season 10, a book-writing masterclass)
- Literary Agent Janet Reid’s Blog & Query Shark
- Literary Rejections (lists literary agencies across the world)
- Emergents Creative Community Scotland
Other People’s Wise Words
If you have worries about word count, check out Colleen’s Lindsay’s “On word counts and novel length” and The Writer’s Digest “Definite Word Count Guide”.
The T Party Writers Group has a list of UK literary agents.
The BookEnds Literary Agency blog has a lot of posts covering most aspects of the industry from an agent’s viewpoint — check the site’s sidebar for popular posts.
The AbsoluteWrite Forums are home to thousands of successful and friendly writers, and contains a huge amount of advice. There’s also the VerlaKay Blue Boards which focusses on children’s writers and illustrators.
In Print (and usually e-book too!)
(Favourites are in bold.)
Write To Be Published by Nicola Morgan
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King
The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Guide to Writing by Betsy Lerner
Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder (Reviewed here!)
From Pitch to Publication by Carole Blake
Reading Like A Writer
On Writing by Stephen King
The Writer & Artists Yearbook (mine is outdated now)
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer
A Style Guide of your choice. I use The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.
Neil Gaiman answers the question “Are there already too many writers out there?”
Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech
Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on “Your elusive creative genius”
And A Must-Read Comic
Iron Spike’s “This is Everything I Know”.