Tips and Resources for Aspiring Writers

Recently, I’ve been asked questions about resources for writers. I won’t endorse any of the resources I provide because I am not personally linked to any of them. However, I have found useful information from these resources. Please, feel free to explore them in your leisure. I hope they are of some use to you.

Resources

Books:

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, By: Mignon Fogarty

For the Write Reason: 31 Writers, Agents, and Editors Share Their Experiences with Christian Publishing, By: Marybeth Whalen

The American Directory of Writer’s Guidelines: More than 1,700 Magazine Editors and Book Publishers Explain What They are Looking for from Freelancers, By: Stephen Blake Metee

The Christian Writer’s Market Guide, By: Sally Stuart

Publishers:

(Note: The following are Christian publishers and editing services. They work mainly with novice authors).

PartnerPublishers (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/)

ChristianManuscriptSubmissions (http://www.christianmanuscriptsubmissions.com/)

Honestediting (http://www.honestediting.com/)

The Writer’s Edge Service (http://www.writersedgeservice.com/)

Websites:

(Note: These websites can be used for informational purposes, for networking, or for advertising).

http://www.writersdigest.com/

http://www.loc.gov/literacy/

http://www.ala.org

http://www.librarything.com/

http://bookforum.com/

http://www.authornation.com/

http://www.pw.org/about-us

http://www.helium.com/

http://www.associatedcontent.com/

http://www.facebook.com/

http://www.logoriaseries.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/

http://storms.typepad.com/booklust/

http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealk.htm

http://www.authorsden.com/

Random Musings (“An Observer”)

This is a random musing of mine (one of many). I wrote this several months ago. I will post it here along with others.

2/2/2009

“An Observer”

I decided recently to start keeping a journal. I would be lying if I said I didn’t realize how much more alive I feel when I write. The opportunity to release all of these emotions works wonders for my mood. I don’t even realize that I have pent up frustrations until I openly discuss my feelings. Understanding that emotions have to be dealt with on a regular basis is a difficult concept to grasp. It is especially difficult for someone like me. I abhor pomp and circumstance. Finding a quiet spot to sit and reflect suits my needs just fine. Tranquility and space to create works of art are more valuable to me than constant chatter.

When I was younger I thought that these feelings were wrong. I thought that being the way I am made me less of a person than everyone else. Over the years these ideas of a ‘right and wrong’ personality started to fade. In my mind, there was only the way God made me. This is not to say that I have always been quiet and reflective. I was actually very outgoing and talkative as a child. But certain events in my life forced me to look inwards and examine the world from afar. I am an observer. I act by not acting. My gifts are listening to what others have to say, refraining from passing judgment, and caring about the opinions of the people around me. Truly, the God-given gifts of reflection and insight have richly enhanced my life. Picturing my life without these gifts is near impossible.

There are times when I feel that my progress is stagnant. I wonder…is it because I am not working in my gift? God commanded me to write. I do so in order to give Him praise and exalt Him. My purpose is to spread His Word and minister to those who are saved and unsaved. I am deeply disappointed in myself for shirking my responsibilities for so long. Periods of resolve came and went within the span of eight years. I wrote sporadically at best. Beautiful words written in times of hardship and inspiration litter a notepad somewhere. Or lay in an unaccessed file on my jumpdrive.

Realizing that I cannot take off sprinting into my ‘written’ ministry was the first step. Writing every day, whether it is a short prayer or journal entry, will be my starting point. I will gradually work my way into more complex works.

I write, because it is how I interact with the world and the people around me… It is my way… It is my praise… It is my life…

Why I Write

This is a piece of work that I composed back in 2001. I have since edited it. There are also some differences in what I thought would happen then and what inevitably took place.

7/29/01

“Why I Write”

From wanting to be a lawyer to a psychologist until finally I’ve come up with the occupation that rivals every dream I’ve ever had…a writer…I want to be a writer. Not just any writer you see. A world renowned, Pulitzer award winning, interviewed around the clock, writer……. Got ‘cha! That’s not what I want. Sounds nice and in the future, I’d have to say that, yes, I would like those things. It gives me something to strive for, but right now, all I want is the joy that fills me when I write. The feeling of accomplishment. The feeling that I can find pleasure in something that lights my soul and brightens my heart in ways unimaginable. Maybe that’s why I think of myself as being so…unique…so out of place, because I can’t explain my emotions without the simple act of writing. Talking has always been a problem for me. I can never say what I feel when I need to. The words seem to come after the dust has cleared and I’m left to ponder what I might have said. Then I pick up a pen and all the words that had escaped me earlier, come back and grace my notebook with such authority, that I wonder why they ran away to begin with. That’s just me I guess…no, I take that back. Other writers feel the way I do. They love their craft and at the same time hate it, because they can’t live without it. It’s their way of getting in touch. It’s how they cope. What would any of us do without it? Put pieces of paper with general emotions like love, happiness, anger, depression, and exhaustion into a hat and pull from it so people would understand how we’re feeling? Nah, it doesn’t work like that. It never will, because we respect our gift and can do nothing, but oblige it.

Our outlet, our safety net, what inspires us to give others joy, change lives, and cry droplets of our own souls. Yes, when you can both instill power in others and find your sense of belonging all at the same time, then you are truly a writer. If you can sit and take a negative, turn it into a positive and use it to find your way through a hardship, you are a writer.

I think I had to endure more than I ever wanted to find my place among the ranks. It seems that one traumatic event can bring about an evolution that can either mold you for the worse or for the better. I think mine was for the better. Maturity is something I’ve always had, but I didn’t fully understand it until now. The time for me to stand on my own and face my own battles came sooner than I would have liked, but regardless of whether I’m ready or not, I have to stand. Failure to do so is NOT an option.

My pride has been an obstacle for me many a time. When I write, I learn to deal with my faults. Make them into a part of me that I am not ashamed of. And with that comes compassion. This has left me in an emotional, if not fragile state. More so than I would have liked. But that’s life. We get out of one fire and jump head first into another.

I’ll never stop changing. I’ll change until I’ve found myself. My true self. Not the tomboy everyone thinks they know, not the so-called prodigy, not the naive little girl that I’m mistaken for. Just me…the writer…who passes on the torch of knowledge with my stories. I do it not only for myself, my family, or for my handful of readers, but to appease my God. The one who has given me my talent, my gateway for opening my heart. And I thank Him not with words, but with the type of my keys, the success of my art, and the stroke of my pencil against my composition pad. So, trust that when I die, I’ll die writing because it’s the only way I know how to live…