Thursday, January 19, 2012

Writerly things...

...because I'm all give.

Well, not really - but I'm happy to share! (Unless we're talking about men or chocolate. Then I'm all, "Mine, mine, mine!!!") Mmmm, men or chocolate. covered in chocolate? Oh dear, I feel a swoon coming on. Wait, what was I gonna say...? Oh yeah - in today's blog I'll share some stuff I've found useful as a writer.

There are loads of books about writing and how to go about it and whatnot. My fave so far is Fearless Creating: A Step-by-Step Guide To Starting and Completing Your Work of Art by Eric Maisel. Among other things, Maisel writes about "belligerent commitment" to your craft, be it writing, music making, painting, whatever. You just *do* whatever the hell it is you've gotta do. Do it, do it now, already!!!!! That's oversimplifying the matter, somewhat, which doesn't make it wrong, if you see what I'm sayin'. And for some funny (and highly profane - you've been warned) advice on writing, try Robert Brockway's How to Become an Author, in 5 Incredibly Difficult Steps or Chuck Wendig's 25 Things Writers Should Start Doing (ASAFP).

For writing prompts, I've got The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood (a gift from a former boss, bless her heart) and The Writer's Block by Jason Rekulak, both of which contain (in addition to textual prompts) gorgeous and/or evocative pictures which, if you're visually oriented like me, you may find pretty nifty. I've turned to them many times when I've felt sluggish or stuck, using a prompt for either a simple exercise or as the catalyst for a scene I couldn't get through.

Got a beautiful, sensitive hero or a brave, ballsy heroine and don't know what to name him or her? (Or it?) You could check out Popular Baby Names for free, courtesy of Social Security Administration. Or you could try The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby by Laura Wattenberg. Neither will tell you name meanings, but the latter does other groovy things, like categorizing names by style and giving you names related/similar to a name you may be considering (useful for naming siblings). I think my favorite section is where Wattenberg lists names from the "Surfer 60s." (Strangely, for a goth, I've really been jonesing for the beach and its ginchy Gidget culture...what's up with that?) (Don't worry, I'll explain in a forthcoming bloggy-blog.) (OK, maybe you should worry, a little.)

I've used to hunt - ahem - research agents and for the same, which also has info on publishers. Another site I've relied on for agent info is Absolute Write Water Cooler, a fantastic forum in which other aspiring authors have posted about their experiences in submitting queries. And a cool site for researching markets and tracking submissions for magazines and short stories is Duotrope.

Want to blog but aren't sure how to get started? Robert Lee Brewer's Blogging Tips for Writers helped me out a lot. (But you can't blame the poor man for what I write, or even for the fact that I do write; it's totally not his fault.)

So how about all youse creative guys out there - what stuff's helped/amused/inspired you?


  1. Also - try The Everyday Work of Art by Eric Booth. Do your art! Even something simple, everyday.

    1. Thanks for the tip! Just checked it out on Amazon; it looks promising!


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