Some thoughts on where to turn when you need answers about your writing journey.
When I'm reading articles and blogs on writing, I'm often reminded of something my mom suggested when I had my oldest daughter. She told me to choose someone I admire and respect to look to for advice. If I had someone I could turn to, then I could tune out all of the unwanted advice and suggestions that inevitably come to new parents. Ten years and a second daughter later, I realize that this advice applies to writing as well.
As a new writer, it is easy to be inundated with tips, advice, and suggestions. There are thousands of websites, blogs, newsletters, and articles about succeeding in writing. It takes a long time to sift through the advice and suggestions. It takes patience to decide what routes are right for you and your manuscript. It's difficult to trust in your own judgement when others seem to know so much. To navigate successfully through waters you've never swam in before is a challenge that most new authors don't anticipate. I didn't. It amazed me how much information is available. I feel lucky to have had an 'edge' so to speak. Having been lucky enough to be signed by an agent, I began to follow people on Twitter that she followed. By doing so, I found a variety of websites, blogs, agents, and authors that share insightful and valuable information. I don't have to wade through all of it, wondering which one has the best or most useful advice.
Regardless of where you are in your writing journey, I thought it might be useful to share some of my favourite 'industry' sites. These are websites that I turn to time and again for valuable information, writing tips, industry knowledge, and an overall good and candid read. Just like with parenting advice, you can't listen to everyone. You have to choose a trusted advisor (or a few) and rely on yourself. You have to know what you're comfortable with, what you want for yourself and your manuscript, and push yourself toward advice-givers that are in sync with these things. For me, the following websites answer the questions that randomly pop up but they also make me think about things I wouldn't have otherwise. The combination of trusting sound advice and trusting myself has, hopefully, made me a better writer.
My favourite sites
This is the site of my agent. Her blog was named one 101 best websites for writers. She gives honest, straightforward information that is both realistic and encouraging.
I love reading posts by Rachelle. Her blogs always answer questions to things that I have been thinking about. Insightful, funny, and helpful.
I cannot believe how vast and supportive the writing community on Twitter is. Watch who people you trust are following, take a look at the suggestions Twitter makes for 'other people similar to this'. I have been lucky enough to have fun, meaningful, and helpful communications with writers all around the world that, without Twitter, I would not be connected to. It is amazing to feel connected to others on a similar journey.
Whether you're looking for webinars, courses, writing opportunities, or industry information, you will find it at Writer's Digest. I love reading the information on this website. It answers questions that new writers really have without being vague.
Dahlia is a writer, like us, who is honest and genuine on her website. It's easy to navigate and the 'Daily Dahlia' is broken down into excellent categories, such as tips for agented authors and tips for unagented authors. Her writing is funny and real.
I've read, time and again, that writing is a solitary journey. What is always stressed however, and turns out to be quite true, is that we are not alone. Reach out, find others who can and will support each stage of your writing journey. Connecting with other writers, agents, editors, and people in the publishing industry is an invaluable way to realize that everyone starts somewhere. There is something very powerful about connecting with people that share your passion, who 'get' what you do or want to do. If nothing else, connecting with others can show you that, regardless of the stage you're at in your writing, others have come before you and made their way through.
Do you have a list of 'go-to' websites that provide awesome information?