When I need some writing inspiration, sometimes I end up in front of my bookshelf of favorites. Here I keep books from some of my favorite authors, some of whom are friends, some of whom I’ve never met, all of whom inspire me in one way or another. Other times, I venture into that vast wilderness known as the internet. But while I can get distracted by videos of cute cats or Ruby the Wombat as much as the next writer, I do try to use my worldwide-web access and mad Google skills for writerly good. So in addition to Eight Ladies Writing (I never miss a post as they are awesome ;-)!) here are some of my favorite inspiring internet sites.
Argh Ink – This is the blog home of Jennifer Crusie, writer and writing teacher extraordinaire. I discovered Jenny not through her NYT bestselling books, but through a blog called He Said/She Said that she did many moons ago with her then writing partner Bob Mayer. It was the most amazing master class in writing I could have imagined, and led me to read their collaborative efforts as well as many of Jenny’s solo books. As you’ve probably gathered from other writing posts, Jenny is our teacher in the McDaniel program, but she doesn’t limit her writing knowledge to her class students. She shares it with the world on her blog, covering everything from the writing choices in screenplays and Dr. Who episodes to deep ruminations on the conflict box. Checkout the archives for topics related to your most burning writing questions and you’re bound to spend the morning or afternoon or day reading the answers you’ll find there.
Terribleminds Blog – This is the rather amazing blog site of writer Chuck Wendig. In addition to being ungodly prolific, Wendig is totally immersed in the writing world and talks about it in always entertaining ways. From his Flash Fiction Fridays and 25 Things About… posts to his crowdsourced surveys of the current fiction marketplace, Chuck will make you think deep thoughts about writing and will have you smiling while you do so.
Magical Words – The Magical Words site is a blog written by a group of writers (sounds familiar), in this case, many of whom write or have written in the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre. The writing hosts and their occasional guests share their thoughts and wisdom on writing topics, the writer’s journey, and upcoming or just released books.
750 Words – This site’s name is startlingly descriptive: go here to write 750 per day, preferably every day. You can write blog posts, journal entries, scene/book notes, full-blown scenes, shopping lists, whatever words you want! Your words are kept in a private account, for your eyes only. And if racking up 750 fresh, shiny new words per day isn’t reward enough for you, there are badges! That’s right, electronic symbols of honor that will grace your account and announce to you (and anyone who chooses to follow your progress) that you are AWESOME. Everyone gets an egg badge just for showing up on day 1. After that, you can accrue badges like the flamingo, cheetah, bat, and more for feats like writing your 750 words multiple days in a row, at a certain time or without interruption for a number of days, etc. Never underestimate what a writer will do for a hamster badge (I’m coming for you, hamster!).
NaNoWriMo – This is the granddaddy of word accumulation sites. But NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated), is more than a website. It’s an annual happening, and as luck would have it, it’s just about to happen again! Every November, more than 100,000 (yes, with 5 zeroes!) writers sign up to spend 30 days attempting to grind out 50,000 (yes, with 4 zeroes!) words. You have to hit the 50k word mark by midnight your local time on Nov 30 in order to ‘win’. But this is definitely a case of winning just by participating. Whether you meet up with writing buddies who later become critique partners, attend local write-ins (held in locations around the globe!), or visit the online forums for virtual tea (and wine and hard stuff) and sympathy, it’s quite likely you’ll finish more words in November by joining the NaNo community than you would have without it.
Now that I’ve told you about my favorite writer-inspiring websites, I’m ready to get my daily words on the page! So it’s your turn. What are your favorite writer or reader websites?