25 Resources To Fuel Your Writing

All growth is painful and creates resistance. It makes us uncomfortable even when we want it, even when we know it’s essential for our evolution as writers. And sometimes we wonder if it’ll ever end, if we’ll ever reach a point where we can lay back and say we’ve reached the top. But growth is a never ending process that we writers thrive on if we go about it in a practical way.

Growth is hard because it destroys the old and forces us to adapt and master the new. Like the unlearning of trite skills that no longer suffice, the demolition of an old perspective that’s holding us back, or the departure from of an old environment so we can move forward. Growth pushes out of our comfort zone and into a process of transformation, and it usually takes a while until we get comfortable again. A while that’s scary and confusing, and just basically sucks.

But ultimately growth is also beautiful and cathartic. With every story we write and every new technique we learn to apply, our work becomes clearer and more powerful. With every additional angle to our perspective and every bit of confidence we gain, we become stronger and sharper, more intentional, more effective. As writers, we usually grow on several levels at the same time, we grow as creators and unique individuals and also as parts of a dynamic and diverse community.

This necessary discomfort of growth that comes with our successive creative eclosions is something we all have to go through. Luckily, we’re not the first to go through it. We can learn from others who’ve already internalized that growth and are able and willing to coach us through it. So I’d love to share the tips and tools from some of the most amazing people, that not only help me through this itchy process, but have improved my writing life tremendously. 

Behold the top contents of my suitcase!
Loot and pillage to your heart’s delight, do the clickety-clack dance and make your electronic rodent happy, but whatever you do, for the love of humanity, don’t touch that cocoon!

 

Killer Books

Characters and Viewpoint, by Orson Scott Card
Hooked and Finding Your Voice, by Les Edgerton
Plot, by Ansen Dibell
500 Ways To Be A Better Writer, by Chuck Wendig
Scene and Structure, by Jack M. Bickham
How To Write A Damn Good Novel, by James N. Frey
Create A Plot Clinic, by Holly Lisle

The Art of War For Writers, by James Scott Bell
The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield
100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, by Steve Chandler
On Writing, by Stephen King
We Are Not Alone, by Kristen Lamb
Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt

 

Kickass Blogs

Storyfix, by the razor-sharp and brilliant Larry Brooks
Advanced Fiction Writing, by the pragmatic Randy Ingermanson
Wordplay, by the sweet and helpful K.M. Weiland
Moody Writing, by anonymous (seriously, Mood, who are you?)
Jody Hedlund‘s beautiful blog on writing
Nathan Bransford’s straightforwardblogness

Terribleminds
, home of penmonkey Chuck Wendig
Kill Zone Authors, hub of 9 very successful writers
Writer Unboxed
, a truly stellar writers community
Warriorwriters, by mother hen Kristen Lamb
We Grow Media, behind the desk of super-coach Dan Blank

 

What’s your crème de la crème in fuel for growth, both as an individual and as part of the community? Who did you learn most (recently) from?

16 Replies to “25 Resources To Fuel Your Writing”

  1. Awesome list, Vero. I’m pretty much following all of those blogs already, except for Moody Writing, and I’ll stand by your recommendations. Lots of great advice from great folks there.

    And the only books on the list that I haven’t read yet or added to my to-be-read list (I’ll get around, I swear!) are the Michael Hyatt and Steve Chandler books. I’ll have to get on them!

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    1. Steve Chandler’s book is basically a cognitive psychotherapy book. 😀 I couldn’t help myself, had to include it, because it’s light on terminology and heavy on practical advice and anyone can benefit from it. I have a large bibliography of that kind in my suitcase, if there’s demand for recommended reading of the psy sort… 😉

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  2. I had a conversation the other day with someone who was feeling discouraged about her writing because she’d tried something new and wasn’t happy with the results. I thought her new piece showed depth and growth, and I admired her willingness to take that risk, to show that underbelly of vulnerability by experimenting, trying something new, challenging herself.

    You’re so right. Growth is pain, from those awkward spurts in height that render children into a collection of gangly limbs, though the wicked trauma of adolescence, all the way into our stumbling, bumbling adulthoods. Unless we’re willing to stagnate, life is growth and change, and the unavoidable side-effect of growth is discomfort, gaucheness and often outright pain.

    Great post, Vero, and great links. I do have a few books that I’d add to the “creme de la creme” list:

    Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
    Larry Brooks, Story Engineering
    Anne LamottBird by Bird

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    1. Letting go of comfortable habits is always hard, but there’s no other way to improve. 🙂

      Thanks for the suggestions, Kern. I’ve read Bird by Bird, and Larry’s book is on my wishlist (e-book is currently under review by Amazon for formatting issues). Gotta get Ray’s too!

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  3. This is my first visit to your blog. I really appreciate this post. I’m going through a particularly painful growth period right now and it’s nice to be reminded that it’s not only normal, but beautiful and cathartic. Thank you for that!
    Thanks also for the list of resources, I have lots of clicking to do 😉
    The book I most recently learned from is Les Edgerton’s HOOKED. Amazing how much he packed into that tiny book. It will be one I’ll have to read again and again.

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    1. Hi Ruth! Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      Les is a great writer and an awesome teacher, and he’s one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. I’m glad you got to read Hooked, there’s a lot of great advice in there. I hope it’s helping you sort through some of the difficulties of growth, and that you keep your head up. We all have ups and downs, and we gain something with each try.

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