Resources for Writers

Hi folks! Writing is, perhaps obviously, one of my passions. Being a better writer is one of my most important goals–and I want to share what I’ve learned. To that end, I often teach writing workshops at events. I also go to as many workshops and panels as I can, because we all have a lot to learn from each other–both about writing and about how the world works. To help others learn, I’m putting together a few resources that I think might be helpful. This is a work in progress, of course–and I would welcome your suggestions, comments, etc.

Some useful books I’ve read recently:

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing by Paul J. Silvia

This book is aimed at academic writers (specifically at psychologists, but nearly all of this short book is valuable for any academic), and is based on research. I found it really outstanding, and I plan to revisit it soon.

Can you tell how much I liked this book?

Can you tell how much I liked this book?

Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Composers, Writers, and Other Creators by Priscilla Long

This is another very short book, but its short chapters are packed with insight and ideas that I plan to think about and work with. Another book I’ll be re-reading, and I recommend it with enthusiasm.

A Poetry Handbook:  A Prose Guide to Writing and Understanding Poetry by Mary Oliver

Another fairly short book. As someone who hasn’t studied poetry extensively, I found the material about the mechanics and other aspects of poetry to be valuable, though mostly a refresher, and she has wonderful examples. I would say this is the sort of book that anyone with a BA or MA or MFA in creative writing, but who mainly focused on fiction, really ought to read about poetry, even if they don’t plan on writing any. Poets ought to know what’s in here…and if they don’t, they should also get the book–STAT!

Here’s some stuff I’ve written about craft in the past that might be of use: The website has lots of great posts about writing from other folks, too, so check it out!

I’ll talk more at some point about tech for writers, but I really like Sonar for recording/tracking submissions; Google Drive for file management and cloud backup; Microsoft Word for working with long files (though saving can become really problematic), in part because of the Navigation options (learn ’em!); and Page Four (though it’s no longer being actively developed) for containing and helping me manage story fragments, ideas, and stories.

FWIW, I have tried Scrivener, which is quite popular with writers. Some love it; I did not. I was also scared away by reports that it clashes rather badly with Google Drive and other cloud storage apps. However, by all means, use what pleases you.

AND, I am building a page of links relating to Writing the Other. I want to build this to be a really useful tool, so please share it and send me additions! And please make your writing diverse–and accurately so–to reflect the rich diversity of the world we all live in.

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