The life of a writer is complex; to survive it, you need just the right mind for the job. Able to deal with all sorts of things that other jobs/hobbies/purposes of existence, simply do not need to. There is a reason why people think writers are crazy. Just a sampling of what we deal with includes:
- Staring at a screen for an obscene amount of time, waiting for a single sentence to sound proper.
- Trying to ignore characters voices when we are not actively writing about them.
- Hand cramps, the likes of which the porn industry wishes it could invoke.
- Crippling fear of failure. (“Oh god I have to work at McDonalds now”)
- Crippling fear of success. (Success means live-readings, which by extension, means crowds)
- The villains in your nightmares suddenly becoming people you invented. On purpose!
- Getting bored of that one music playlists that you can listen to while writing.
- The looming knowledge that computers might become advanced enough to make the written word obsolete.
Sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes you just can’t bring yourself to start that next chapter. Sometimes the sweet bliss of the internet claims your mind, and then you hand. The click resounds around the room, and you are suddenly on StumbleUpon, reading about Steven King’s 20 rules for writing.
The internet. The ultimate time sink. I could have written an entire manuscript in the time that I have spent surfing the web.
Yet we need to, I think. Writers can’t just write. Just like a programmer is not bolted to their seat, and has code spill forth from his maw. We need to procrastinate.
So that we don’t go completely bonkers.
But just because we are not writing, does not mean that we are not learning. For a man once said “Whenever you are not writing, you should read.” Now I might be paraphrasing that, but the idea is sound. You need to keep the creative alive.
So instead of going to YouTube; instead of browsing you Facebook, do something fun, and mentally stimulating.
Follow this list:
The Top Five Websites to Read (when you really should be writing)
A little shout out for my friends over there. (For more information on that, check out my about page). Who manage to produce quality content every weekday, in addition to the occasional Sunday Surprise articles that shows up. It consists of a group of bloggers who are given the freedom to do whatever they want. Bonded only by the guidelines of the blanket term “Science fiction and fantasy”. It functions like a newspaper/magazine in that sense, reporting on the latest news of the internet, and nerd culture.
Now I might be incredibly biased on this, but my favorite part of the site is the F.F. section. Which contains a slew of excellent short stories, and even occasionally has little events. You could spend hours over there, if you wanted to.
But if your off-time needs to be filled with nothing but writing, then let me bring you to the second choice:
Just like the last one, this is a magazine. But this one is entirely devoted to the craft of writing. With articles that range from “grammar rules” to “why you should be reading Twilight” and everything else that you could think of. It also offers things like trade essays, and book reviews. If you’re at all serious about become a writer, then I can’t recommend this site enough.
If you are already a writer, then I still recommend it, as the site offers contests and reviews for anyone good enough to qualify for it.
But if your goal is to understand other people’s writing better, than I know no place better then….
A massive encyclopedia of. Every. Single. Thing. That you have ever noticed reoccur in different franchises. Setting them all out in exact rules. While a great tool for anyone that wants to read or write. It also is useful to those of a movie-making persuasion. As it tells about visual cues that are so engrained in people, that you can communicate big concepts, with little effort.
As a fair warning though, the site has layers upon layers of links to other articles. All of which you need to read, to properly understand the article that you started on. Normally this would be to the site downside, but it becomes an almost historical journey. Peeling back the piles of ancient dust, till you find the great truth.
Which of course might drive you mad. If so, then I know the next place for you:
Chuck Wendig is a very, very funny man. With a blog that is full of swearing, off the wall analogies, and mind bending trains of thought. Derailing you so thoroughly that it might just take you a few minutes to realize that he is dispensing great advice. In a tough love sort of way.
I wish I could say more about the madness, but you just need to experience it yourself.
Now if you would prefer a more womanly touch, then allow me to bring you to:
Named after the first book in the owner’s fantasy series, this blog focusing on writing advice, and what you learn by being a writer. It’s a calming place, full of short but informative articles. It may focus heavily on the fantasy genre, but it still has advice that is useful for all types of writers. It also skirts the usual issue of sounding generic, with constant references to her own personal experiences. Which make the articles feel more alive.
I should say that at the time of writing, the site is on hiatus, but even still, it has plenty of articles to take up your time.
Alright guys, so now that you have read all of that, we’re done, it’s time to get back to writing. No “buts”; we got a job to do, and worlds to create.
Let’s get on it.
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