Blogs and Resources for the Aspiring Writer

I’ve been coming across more and more sets of specific tips for the writer in all of us while browsing randomly around the web. While there are quite a few blogs that specifically post articles only about writing, there are lots of blogs that have a focus in some other area, and still manage to make the occasional post which relates to the art that we are trying to perfect.

Here’s a list with brief descriptions of blogs and resources that I have found useful while I’ve been working on the “Overneath” projects.

Write To Done
Write To Done is a great resource for those of us who need some tips and inspiration for our writing careers. A few specific articles that have caught my eye over the past few months are listed below.

  • 10 Mistakes That Could Be Killing Your Blog – While not about writing in a general sense, this is more of a list of “what not to do” when starting and running a blog site. I’ve taken some of these suggestions, as you can see on the right sidebar that I have added a “Most Popular Posts” list.
  • Learn from the Greats: 7 Writing Habits of Amazing Writers – This is an article that I’ve read a few times through, and each time I learn something new from it. Seeing how some of the great writers of our time work brings things into perspective, and brings motivation to a situation where there was previously a vacuum.
  • A Guide to Becoming a Writer for Kids and Teens – A great article for those of us with creative children, and for those children at the same time.

Coding Horror
This is not a blog about writing, but a few articles have come through that equate the art of computer programming with the styles and ideas relating specifically to being an author.

  • Coding: It’s Just Writing – This posts highlights a book, The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. This is a timeless book that should be read by all beginning writers. Seeing how Jeff Atwood relates this book to the art of computer programming creates a good parallel for those of you who aren’t technically-minded.
  • Coding Without Comments – This article is about coding software with the idea that you don’t need to make comments in order for your code to be readable by a future engineer who would be inheriting the code. I think this indirectly relates to writing style, in that you don’t need to explain every detail as if your reader is completely without intellect. It is a far better idea to structure your sentences and paragraphs as if the reader will understand without being pandered to.

Zen Habits
Zen Habits is a productivity blog, but if your eyes usually glaze over at the thought of reading yet another GTD-centric set of posts, fear not, as there is far more to this blog than you would immediately perceive.

Resources
There are many resources out there for writers, but there are a select few that I rely on regularly.

  • Google Documents – Google provides a great service here with a way to store all of your writing out in the cloud. You can use a word processor, spreadsheets or even create slideshows with this service. This way, you can write your stories, and keep them remotely stored to access any time you have an internet connection and a browser handy.
  • Google Notebook – Jotting down quick ideas is very desirable when you are first starting out, or even when you have flashes of inspiration. Google Notebook provides you an easy way to write, organize and search through all of your notes on your projects.
  • Jott – Jott supplies a toll free number that you can call and make a quick note over the phone, which will be transcribed and emailed to you. This is great for the times when you either don’t have a writing implement handy, or in a situation where you are driving and are unable to write.
  • TimeToast Timelines – A very easy to use timeline software that allows you to quickly and easily create timelines that are simple and easy to read. You can also share timelines with other people by making them public.
  • Lulu – Lulu.com gives you the opportunity to publish your writings in an on demand basis. You can get an editor to analyse your writing, do all of the formatting, and even create and upload custom covers. This is a great resource for those of us who want to get our writing out there, but who don’t want to deal with going through the traditional publication process.

I see these resources as essentials for the amateur writer, and hope that you, too can find some benefit.

If you use or know of other services and inspiring articles, please, feel free to comment here.