Monday, August 23, 2010

Favourite Writing Blogs

Since my debut novel, 'Kincaid's Call' was published by The Wild Rose Press in May this year, I've explored the web looking for information and advice about all aspects of writing. Initially my focus was on learning about online marketing, specifically in relation to e-publishing. As an e-pubbed author I believe I have to pick up those skills and consistently develop them. Along the way I discovered many other blogs I return to again and again to soak up the reading. Here are some of the favourites on my ever-growing list.

Mike Shatzkin's blog posts are an enlightening read for those interested in the revolution towards e-publishing: "The printed book's path to oblivion" was the title of a speech he delivered to publishers in Spain way back in 1997. Shatzkin estimates that e-books will dominate within 10 years and that within 20, a person might be dubbed eccentric for choosing a print book. Although I'm one of the many who love to curl up by the fire with a print book in my lap, Shatzkin's argument for e-reading is convincing.

Copyblogger is an excellent resource for writers who are setting out on their blogging journey as well as for those who are more experienced. Blogging is a serious business. Your blog presents your face to the world and it's important to make sure it represents you professionally. I still have a lot to learn about blogging. If I have any very basic advice for new bloggers it's to take the time to learn about formatting. Many blogs seem to have text that's uncomfortably large or so small the reader has to squint, graphics that misplace text, font colours clashing over background colours.

Since discovering Janet Fitch's blog, I've read "10 Writing Tips That Can Help Almost Anyone" more times than I can count.

Wordserve literary agent Rachelle Gardner is a favourite for the common sense advice she gives from an agent's point of view. Rachelle is primarily interested in inspirational works. I don't write inspirational (not yet anyway!) but I find her posts packed with information about many different topics relevant to the writer's world.

New Zealand writer Gracie O'Neil's blog has many posts that contain valuable practical advice. Gracie's mines of information are studded with nuggets of wisdom.

Julie Musil has a fun blog and there's always something interesting to learn. Right now Julie's post relates to one of the tasks I find most difficult as a writer - tightening up the middle. Julie's advice from 'Plot and Structure' by James Scott Bell is invaluable for someone like me who sprints into the beginning but plods through the marathon of those middle chapters.

I enjoy Jody Hedlund's blog, and especially enjoyed reading her "4 Steps for Organising Plot Ideas into a Novel".

There are millions of blogs out there in cyberspace. Discovering the ones I enjoy and writing my own blog posts can be a seductive diversion from real writing time - that's the danger for me, anyway!


  1. Hi Leigh,
    Now that was interesting. I will go in and check them out. Thanks for posting.



  2. Thanks for stopping by, Margaret. Enjoy the blogs!

  3. You are so kind to include my blog! Thank you so much. I just read and tweeted the 10 tips...brilliant.

    I'm with you as far as spitting out those first few chapters. Now I'm feeling lost but working through the steps to get past this! It'll come...

  4. You're welcome, Julie. I love visiting your blog, not only for the reading, but also because it always seems so cheerful.

    I'm at that 'working through' point too - it's a bad time because that's often when I get sidetracked by another idea instead of persisting with my WIP. Any help I can get is without price!

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by, Historical Writer. I'm working on a historical (Regency) for the first time and thoroughly enjoying it.

  6. Hi Leigh,

    Thanks for a great article. I'll be checking out all these blogs.