I may not be a published author but I consider myself a writer. I’ve worked at my craft hard enough and long enough that I think I can claim the title “writer”. I have several complete manuscripts ranging from first drafts to final drafts (final until I decide to tweak it again) and I try to write every day in order to get better. If someone else has a different idea of what it means to be a writer, I’d like to hear it. So what I’m saying is I’d consider myself pretty far along that subjective scale, but I’m still learning. I read a lot, go to workshops and follow blogs that have some great advice for writers. Books and workshops are great but a lot of times you have to pay for them (unless you utilize your library and your local writers group) but blogs are free. At the most you might have to ignore some ads. So I thought I might spotlight a few of my favorites.
Robert Lee Brewer is a father, a poet and one of the editors at Writer’s Digest. His blog is chock full of advice for writers trying to navigate the digital world. In April he did a whole month of posts about how to build an online platform. Take a stroll through his archives and you’ll find help with things like time management skills, wading through social media like Facebook and Twitter, and what you really need to know about SEO (search engine optimization). Robert’s posts were invaluable to me while I was setting up my blog. They really helped me get a handle on what I needed to concentrate on and what I could ignore. I even participated in his April Platform Challenge. I’ve only noticed a slight increase in my site traffic so far, but I feel so much more confident about my efforts on the web now, and to me, that’s worth it.
Debbie Maxwell Allen is a homeschool mom, a writer, and a blogger. Her blog is a treasured resource for people like me who have a hard time finding things on the internet. I don’t know what my problem is, but I can never find what I’m looking for. Some people can’t whistle. I can’t Google. But Debbie makes it easier by finding new, interesting, and above all, helpful tools for writers on the web. Each post focuses on a different topic with several links to great articles that flesh out the idea and really give it some meat. It’s like a best of the web for writers. She’s also been doing it for a while so you can find just about anything you might need in her archives. As a bonus, I’ve met Debbie and she’s just as sweet and encouraging as she seems online.
Janice Hardy is a blogger and the author of The Healing Wars trilogy. I like to follow the blogs of my favorite authors and while I was reading The Shifter I looked Janice up. Little did I know that instead of just a well-kept author’s blog, I would find an Aladdin’s cave for writers. Janice has been blogging about writing almost every day for three years now and you can see her expertise and her passion in every post. She takes submissions from unpublished writers and breads down her critique of their work. She has guest posts by published authors who talk about how they write and manage their careers. Not to mention endless posts that teach the craft of writing to any level of aspiring writer. The amount of information on her blog is a little overwhelming at first (I gave up on trying to read everything and settled on searching for the most relevant posts) but it’s worth having bookmarked as a reference.
Just as every writer should have reference books on their desks, I think they should also have a Google Reader full of writerly blogs.