Welcome to the New Year!
Have you made your writing goals yet?
Writing goals are one of those things most writers either shy away from or slouch into. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let’s look at 3 typical writing goals, and I’ll show you why they’re bad goals and how you can improve them.
Writers, as a group, are usually bad at taxes. That’s because we’re not numbers people.
But you’ve got to get better at your taxes, because it’s costing you a fortune. Writers pay about 30% of their income for taxes. And that’s after an agent takes 15%, or after several publications don’t pay you for freelance articles, so it’s really hurting your bottom line.
What would you do if a writer emailed you saying they were going to commit suicide?
It happened to Cynthia McCabe, a journalist at the Washington Post.
She was in bed one night, checking her email, and read an email from a complete stranger named Dennis Williams who said that he’d published one novel that no one had read, written 8 other unpublished books, and that he was committing suicide that very night.
Why? Because Williams had said all that he had to say. Because he considered his life work to be bound up in those 8 unpublished books and one published novel, and if no one was going to listen, he would commit suicide.
As writers with a whopping-size project in our lap, sometimes we need to get the green before we can make the green. Only how? Let’s face it: writing may be feel absolutely liberating, but it’s not a money-making machine; most writers fulfill their dreams because they can’t think about doing anything else. The reality of filling up our piggy banks just slips into the back of our minds.
So when you find yourself weighed down by a time-consuming writing project, your passion for the written word alone might not get you off the couch. That’s when organizations throw you a lifesaver of a writing grant, so you can pursue your passion while also saving your budget.
Below are 23 great grants for writers to help you fund your writing project.
Check out these 15 creative writing courses that are not only attractive to aspiring writers but to anyone who wishes to craft powerful language and stories.
I’ve divided the following list between the classes free of charge and the paid classes, so you have a better idea of what is out there for you.
Be careful to distinguish between courses that come with feedback on your writing and ones that just include information. Both can be helpful, but make sure you’re signing up for what you need.
Also, be aware of the differences between courses that include a teacher and those that just have audio or video lectures. The lectures can be helpful, but it’s always great to ask someone questions.
This is the writing advice I needed long, long ago, when I was just starting as a writer. I probably wouldn’t have believed these were all mistakes (because of #1), but I wish I would have.
This writing advice would have saved me a lot of broken drafts and a lot of failed expectations.
After you read this, pick your favorite 3 or 4 points and tape them to the wall above your writing desk. Remind yourself of this writing advice often enough, and you’ll have a much better chance of success.
Conferences are fantastic ways for writers to meet agents, editors, and colleagues, to get feedback on their writing, and to get away from their desk.
Most of these cost money, but some have scholarships, and others are relatively cheap, so don’t let finances keep you from furthering your writing career.
Here are 18 conferences that should be able to serve as an asset to writers of all stripes.
Writers everywhere have a similar problem. When I tell people that I want to have a career in writing, most of them look at me like I grew 2 extra heads.
I’ve even had someone tell me it is “a waste of money to go to school for writing.”
I don’t let their comments affect me, though, because the only reason they think that is because they don’t truly understand what it’s like to be a writer. It’s something that only fellow writers can understand.
I’ve never listened to a podcast that I didn’t find insightful. Maybe I just have great taste in podcasts? Even when I was laughing my butt off while listening to Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher, I still managed to learn something from their witty humor.
These 14 podcasts for writers will introduce you to new books, teach you new techniques in writing, new marketing skills, and help you build a writing community.
Sometimes, writing inspiration comes from seemingly nowhere. It can appear like an apparition, out of the blue, with no warning. It can leave just as suddenly, with no parting call to tell us when we’ll meet again. We just have to wait around and find out.
But sometimes, we can pinpoint from where our inspiration for writing hails. Sometimes, we can draw it out from tragedy or comedy, from adventure, from stories of those around us: stories we have heard, stories we have lived. Like this, coaxing an idea out of your brain can be less like chasing a ghost and more like trying to pull the family cat out from underneath the car in your garage.
Some famous writers don’t believe in capital-I Inspiration. Neil Gaiman has an entire essay about how he answers the question “Where do you get your ideas?” when he’s not being smart with people and saying, ‘From a little ideas shop in Bognor Regis.’: