Click here to see all my writing-related blog posts.
A Writer’s Development by me.
Are you Overthinking It? by Kameron Hurley
Ask Polly: Should I just give up on my writing? by Heather Havrilesky
Ira Glass on the Creative Process.
Keep in mind that we all work differently, the rules aren’t really rules, and you’ll need to find your own process. Don’t get too stuck on what others say you should be doing. Be wary of gurus, especially those with something to sell you.
Writing is work. Be gentle with yourself, but lean into the work, not your fears.
Professional Writing Software
Scrivener by Literature and Latte
You don’t need Scrivener, but I recommend you check out the free trial and see if it works for you.
Self-publishing? Read Patty Jansen’s Self-Publishing Unboxed series.
Going the traditional route? Become familiar with Writer Beware by Victoria Strauss, learn how to write a professional query letter, and find a reputable list of literary agents to send your query letters to.
Learn about the industry here, here, and here.
Self-publishing and traditional publishing each have distinct pros and cons. Weigh the options, and do what is best for you, not what someone else pushes you into. If you go the traditional route, get very clear about what rights and intellectual property you are giving up, for what benefits, and how future publisher bankruptcies and mergers would impact your ability to get your rights back. Don’t get fucked over! And if you self-publish, prepare to bear the direct costs of editing, cover design, tax compliance, and marketing.
I highly recommend you start a newsletter or mailing list. Mailchimp is my favorite, but there are plenty of options.
Meet other writers on Twitter by following the #amwriting and #writingcommunity hashtags.
Meetup.com offers in-person meetups for writers around the world. A good group will challenge and encourage you, without distracting too much from your work.
Kboards and WriterSanctum are two decent forums for talking to writers. Be cautious about what personal information you share on Kboards, as they recently changed ownership and the new Terms of Service sucks.
Note that it’s considered poor etiquette for a writer to crap on another writer’s work publicly. To avoid unnecessary drama and social-media brigading, I recommend you not write critical reviews once you are “out” as an author, unless being a literary critic is important to your job. This is a tough industry and people have long memories. Be kind, and leave the critiques to the fans.
PS: Do not respond to negative reviews of your work. Speaking of which, this may be helpful.
My writing journal, Unedited, is available online. As it’s literally unedited, I don’t publicize it. But feel free to take a peek if you want to know what a fiction writer’s day-to-day work looks like.
Last updated: 2/7/19