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Five Not-So-Well-Known Writing Blogs You Should Read

by Jennifer on November 10, 2009

By Jennifer Blanchard

Recently, Editor Unleashed and Michael Stelzner of the blog, Writing White Papers, published lists of “the best” writing blogs. Editor Unleashed’s 25 Best Writing Blogs were decided based on votes in the site’s reader forum. Stelzner puts together his own list of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers every year.

Now, I’m not saying these lists don’t recommend great writing blogs because they definitely do. These lists contain blogs that I read regularly, and I’m sure many of you do, too.

But it seems like the same blogs show up on these types of lists over and over again. And the winners are usually the most popular blogs on the Web, which isn’t a bad thing, but it really doesn’t leave room for up-and-comers.

What about all the writing blogs that rock, but are just not as well-known as Copyblogger, The Urban Muse, Men With Pens or Write To Done?

So I’ve decided to put together my own list of the hidden-gem writing blogs I think all writers need to be reading on a weekly, if not daily, basis (This list is in no particular order):

  • StoryFix—I can’t say enough good things about this blog. Created by best-selling fiction author, Larry Brooks, this blog takes a no-nonsense, no-BS approach to getting published. If you ever plan on publishing a novel, you need this blog. Brooks doesn’t beat around the bush; he tells it like it is. He gives you everything you need to know to craft a story that will not get rejected by publishers. He shares secrets of the pros—the things only published authors know (and have mastered). Not everyone may like Brooks’ approach, but as they say, if you can’t take the heat, quit trying to get published.
  • Daily Writing Tips—If you’re in need of writing basics, including proper word usage, grammar, a word-of-the-day and writing advice in general, this is the blog for you. The idea behind this blog is helping writers (and non-writers, like attorneys, managers, etc) hone their skills and improve their writing. And the best part is, the editorial team posts several times a day, so there’s always something new and good to read.
  • Daily Blog Tips—Similar to ProBlogger, Daily Blog Tips offers up a plethora of tips to help you be a better blogger. This blog posts on topics, such as: blogging basics, domain names, blog design, blogging strategy, Web tools, how to write content for your blog and more. If you’re a fan of ProBlogger, you definitely want to read this one, too.
  • Lit Drift—I just recently discovered this blog, and I’m so glad I did. Lit Drift is a blog, writing resource and community dedicated to storytelling in the 21st century. Not only do they make several posts a week discussing emerging trends and modern literature, but they also offer up two items daily: A writing prompt and a piece of fiction for your reading/critiquing pleasure. And best of all is Free Book Friday, where they randomly select a blog reader to receive a free book from an indie publisher.
  • Write Anything—This is a group blog written by six unique writers from all over the world. Each day, a different writer makes a post, so the blog is always mixing things up, which keeps it interesting. This blog hosts several Creative Carnivals throughout the year and has a weekly Fiction Friday challenge. My favorite part about this blog is the differing opinions. No writer is the same as another, and this blog truly highlights that fact. For example, pre-NaNoWriMo, there were several posts made discussing why NaNoWriMo rocks and why NaNoWriMo isn’t a good idea.  

What hidden-gem writing blogs do you read regularly?

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 S. Megan Payne November 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I do have one problem with Storyfix—and it’s not his amazing advice. It’s his limited viewpoint. He doesn’t even respond to anyone that points out there is a middle realm of writing that is neither plan everything ahead of time or writing by the seat of your pants then having to trash most of your first draft.

I just don’t like to keep reading this stuffed down my throat from any source that tries to do it (and there are many). I plan as I go. Big deal. I’m not a prodigy or anything else like that. I’m not the only one either. For those of us that are neither pantsers nor plan-in-advancers, he feels he has little to say.

That said, if you don’t already know structure inside and out, read him anyway and just know you’ll get ignored if you point out you’re in the middle ground.

2 jennifer blanchard November 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm

@S. Megan Payne It sounds to me like you do what works for you, which is exactly what I always recommend. The brilliance in the StoryFix philosophy, however, is if you actually try out what Larry recommends, you may find that you like his way better than your own way. I understand your frustrations, because I always thought the way I wrote fiction worked for me. Until I actually sat down and TRIED Larry’s way. Now I see that my way was a complete waste of my time and his way is more effective, more efficient and more likely to get me published. As they say, “don’t knock it ’til you try it.”

3 S. Megan Payne November 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm

It’s not that I don’t do it HIS way. LOL that. I do. I use structure like crazy. It’s my baby. I’m way overly in love with it. He just doesn’t recognize that you CAN structure as you go and plan stuff in advance without planning all of it unless you intend to trash all your work. Pity for the viewpoint, I keep all that good useful work that fits perfectly within my structure. The structure advice is phenomenal, which is why I say read it anyway. But as for planning EVERYTHING in advance? I have tried it. Every time I do it, I never can write the story. Once the planning is done, I never go back to it.

4 S. Megan Payne November 12, 2009 at 1:28 pm

That might have been unclear, so let me summarize:

In writing, there is a big myth. You either outline or you don’t. You either wing it with no clue where you’re headed or you plan every single thing in advance before writing.

I (and most people I know) do neither. We plan a little or some or a lot and write into the gaps with more ideas springing up as we write. We also don’t “find” our story somewhere halfway through and have to scrap all that came before.

It’s middle ground and there’s a whole lot of it occupied by a lot of camps.

He doesn’t believe in it.

But the structure information is good. So if you can stomach being lumped in with pantsers or prodigies if you don’t plan every single thing in advance, then read it. You’ll need it.

And that’s what I was trying to say the first time.

5 jennifer blanchard November 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm

@S. Megan Payne Thanks for sharing your opinion! There are definitely many different ways of getting your writing done. You seem pretty passionate about your way of doing it…I’d love a guest post from you on how you go about planning/writing your novels. If you’re interested, that is 🙂

6 S. Megan Payne November 12, 2009 at 1:45 pm

While as a procrastinating writer who has earned the title :twiddles thumbs and looks away, pretending innocence:, I’m not sure I would be qualified to write that, I would be happy to if you want me to. I have completed some work.

But I would also like to clarify further what I feel so strongly about. It isn’t how I write. I write however suits me, and it’s poetry that taught me so much about structure. I like the challenge of a good structure.

What concerns me is that so many people believe there are only two ways to write and perpetrate that myth upon others. It isn’t true. You don’t have to fit to a mold. I feel strongly about it because I got my first subscription to Writer’s Digest almost ten years ago, read it faithfully, and bitterly lamented it’s same perpetration of that same myth.

And yet, almost every working writer that explains their process admits to taking a road that is more in between these two extremes. So why is the myth perpetrated?

I’m not sure, but I try to do my part to fight it.

7 jennifer blanchard November 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm

@S. Megan Payne I totally agree with you. There definitely aren’t only two ways of writing. I think a lot of writers could benefit from hearing this truth. And as a reader of this blog, you know I’m a HUGE proponent for doing what works for you, regardless of “norms” and “standards” and “rules” and trying to fit someone else’s mold.

BTW, I procrastinate ALL the time…and I’m the owner of this blog! As a writer, you have something awesome to contribute, even if you procrastinate from time-to-time. We all do it. And there’s no shame in it, either. That’s why we’re part of this community, right? So we can find ways to overcome our procrastination…but that doesn’t mean it won’t still happen.

So if you are interested in sharing the process you use and how there are more than two ways of doing things, I’d love to share it with the readers of this blog. Send it to: Jennifer@procrastinatingwriters.com if you decide you want to guest post. And if not, that’s fine too. 🙂

8 S. Megan Payne November 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Carefully testing the waters on this, applying words to paper, erasing, and writing again. It’s coming, but slowly. 🙂

9 Marla November 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm

@Jennifer, another great post! I’m looking forward to checking out some of the blogs you list here.

10 Gemfit November 26, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I just found this blog and I love it (being a procrastinating writer/editor/freelancer in general). I’m excited to check out the blogs you list as I get back into my fiction writing life among the work writing I have to do as well.

11 Scobberlotcher December 3, 2009 at 9:22 am

Great list! I wasn’t aware of some of these sites. Thanks!

12 John Jacobs February 6, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I’ve been writing a memoir of my brother who fought with the Lincoln Battalion in the Spanish Civil war. Been at it for more than ten years. my daughter and my wife are getting a bit tired of reading my drafts – wouldn’t mind finding two or three people who would read what I’ve written and would just tell me how it strikes them – I worked as a magazine editor, radio commentator etc. so have been behind a keyboard for a long time – but am losing perspective on this thing – don’t need an editor – just a few readers.

13 Debbie Langley April 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Another newbie on the block http://www.creativewriting-prompts.com/writersblock.html. Worth a visit if you are looking for journaling prompts, essay help, creative writing prompts, topics, tips, tools, ideas and outlines in an easy to use step-by-step format.

14 The Pencil Neck April 23, 2011 at 1:09 am

Actually, I disagree with Megan that the Story Engineering approach assumes people are either pantsers or plotters and that there’s no middle ground. In the book, he specifically says that there are a lot of people in between and even suggests ways to use his approach without figuring everything out to the last detail.

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