I have close to 50 books about the craft of writing, including books about style, how to get started, writing prompts, quotes from successful writers and writing in various genres. Reading about writing is my favourite form of procrastination!
The more books I acquire, the more I realise that most everything I need to know about writing can be found in the following titles:
Anne Lamott’s guide to the writing life is my favourite. An honest reflection on the trials and joys of writing told with humour and humanity, it’s my go-to book when I want to revisit why I want to write.
This is a classic to get you started or to revisit when you get stuck. Goldberg lays down six ground rules for writing practice: keep your hand moving; don’t cross out; lose control… If you want to know the rest, read the book.
Who wouldn’t want to know what drives this prolific writer and what lessons can be learned from his vast experience? King says, not everyone. But this part memoir, part instruction manual, written while King recuperated from a life-threatening accident, contains essential tools for writers discussed in his characteristically hard-hitting style.
I found this little gem in an op shop. When preparing to write her book Heather Sellers says she first read the three books above. The main idea I took from this book is to stay in touch with your work by writing every day, but there is much more valuable advice to be had here.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to think I would complete the first draft of my novel about a year after buying this book. This might have been the case if I’d actually done the exercises at the end of the chapters which suggest interesting ways of generating content. When I commit to writing a novel, this book will be my road map.
Stephen King says that every aspiring writer should read this little book. I’d go further and say you should take it in your handbag or pocket everywhere you go.
There is much to learn from this book about how to make your writing better. But take care to stay away from it until your first draft is finished, lest your inner editor get the upper hand and stifle your writing process altogether.
This little gem was my companion during NaNoWriMo 2015. As well as providing insights into how to reach a seemingly unreachable goal, it’s loaded with writerly in jokes. Laugh-out-loud funny.
This site promotes children’s poets and their work by publishing a Poem of the Day. Editor Teena Raffa-Mulligan responds quickly to submissions. There is a host of other resources including interviews and poetry writing tips.
This is a spreadsheet of upcoming local, national and international writing competitions including conditions of entry and website links. It is updated monthly and new listings highlighted.
I’m always banging on about this website because it’s GREAT. Run by a team of industry professionals with expertise in children’s literature, it offers daily or twice-daily book reviews, author interviews and guest blog posts. There is also a manuscript assessment service and other resources available for writers, teachers and librarians. Aspiring authors can enter KBR’s annual Unpublished Picture Book Award. The monthly short story challenge has been temporarily suspended: fingers crossed this opportunity restarts next year.
This stands for National Novel Writing Month which is actually an international competition held every November. The idea is to help writers push through their barriers to produce the first draft of a novel of 50,000 words. After signing up, participants can upload their daily word counts, connect with other writers and earn badges as they progress. Those writers that reach 50,000 words are ‘winners’. There is no fee to participate although donations are welcome.
This is one of the websites of prolific children’s author and writing teacher, Jen Storer. She also blogs about life in general at Baxter Street, but Girl and Duck is where she concentrates on all things creative with detailed posts and video clips. Very funny and inspiring, as well as incredibly generous sharing of expertise.
This is a weekly podcast presented by Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait from the Australian Writers’ Centre. It’s a high quality production with a magazine-style format containing news items, writing tips, product information and in-depth interviews. Each podcast goes for around an hour. Great listening while exercising or to while away those mundane tasks!
Darren Rowse from Problogger started the podcast in June 2015 with a series titled ’31 Days to Build a Better Blog’. He continues to produce a couple of half-hour podcasts per week filled with practical tips on how bloggers can increase their readership. I’ve only just discovered this so there is a bit of catching up to do. Hopefully, my blog will benefit from this one!