We all learn, understand and absorb lessons in different ways. That’s according to what our teachers have always told us. From an early age, I realised that I only absorbed information by reading, analysing then trying to perform an example. I’m self-taught in everything I’ve done in my life.
I never grasped things when others told me how to do things (sorry mum, teachers, etc.). I guess that’s why I did so badly at school. It’s also why I don’t do training courses or attend workshops or writing groups.
When I embarked on this writing journey, I researched a few writing books and studied them from cover to cover. I made notes as I went along, absorbing as much info as I could. It gave me the confidence to get stuck into my first novel and stick with it to the end. I will re-read some of these books again in the future, as my writing develops.
One of the books which I happened to stumble upon, was the fantastic, War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. It’s not a book about writing techniques but rather about the mental and emotional challenges associated with the writing journey. It’s also a book, applicable to many other creative folks out there. People who all battle with the fear and self-doubt which haunts them on their creative journey. I wanted to read more from this guru (he also wrote the wonderful “The Legend of Bagger Vance”), so I subscribed to his writing blog and now get 1 or 2 emails a week, full of little gems and thought-provoking musings. (Update: Also read his Turning Pro – Highly recommended for people wanting to have a full-time creative career).
At around the same time, I stumbled onto writing blogs from Jeff Goin and Joanna Penn, writers themselves, and folks who selflessly share wisdom and lessons from their respective journeys.
So are writing blogs the new self-help books?
In the early days of me wrestling with the Traditional vs. Self-publishing debate, it was blogs like these that helped me ascertain my own pro’s and con’s, relevant to me alone.
Two more really good blogs that I came across online in the earlier days were Copy Blogger and Savvy Writers & e-Books. Great blogs for short, sharp blasts of valuable publishing information. Their emails, on average, appear every two days in my inbox, and they are ones that I read before any other email.
As the writing journey continues, I constantly find new blogs from people who I believe will influence me as I write. I usually find them through the people that I already subscribe to so the self-perpetuating referral system keeps working.
I currently subscribe to about 20 writing blogs covering various topics and here are a few I can recommend.
Jonathan Gunson David Gaughran JA Konrath Smashwords Tim Grahl Jane Friedman
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