I've talked to many people who are writers but don't know what to do with what they write, or they believe that the only way to be a professional writer is to have an actual job in an actual company, so learning about how to freelance as a writer is a totally new subject for them. I've also talked to several lyricists and writers of music who don't know what to do to get their songs and music published. If any of this fits you, keep reading for there is information to help you here.
Do you blog or are you trying to break into self-publishing which can be rewarding as well as risky? There is help for you here too. Whatever type of writing you do and whether you write it for the public or just for your own private eyes, you will find something useful on this page for you.
Writing To Be Published
Where Do I Start?
Reference Books For Writers
There are websites and ads in magazines offering to publish your poems in their annual anthology. Many times these are fee-based and as long as you pay your fee, you are likely to have your poem "accepted". I'm not sure at all if these places are as legit as they claim to be. It is such an attraction to have someone offering to publish your work. Be careful where you look and who you respond to. Just because something is online or in a magazine, does not always make it true. As with any other form of writing, do your homework. Learn what is real and what is a scam just to get your money. We publish for several reasons, one of which is to earn a living if possible. Therefore, while some legitimate companies require a reading fee, especially for contests, make sure that if you are being asked to pay to be published, it is a good site with a good reputation. Sticking with Poet's Market is the best way to know which direction to follow. Writer's Digest Magazine has a section geared for poets as well with lots of good information to help you.
Blogging, eBooks, and More
Everywhere you turn today you can find people promoting their new self-published eBooks however, their promotional grammar is horrible. It makes you wonder what kind of writing is in the actual book. The same thing applies to blogs and other forms of writing. More and more you find writing on websites, even those such as Yahoo! Voices which used to be Associated Content, and those articles are poorly written, and obviously not proofread. One of the things we all must remember, especially if we are doing our own writing and publishing, that spell checkers do not catch grammatical errors. They do not catch correctly spelled but wrongly used words such as "there" and "their" for example.
I've seen it happening over the past decade as the popularity of the internet has grown, and educational requirements have begun to falter. Grammar is suffering. People are not following the right rules for proper writing including spelling and grammar anymore. I saw it happening when my children were still in school and they are grown and have their own children in school. School was only focused on getting correct answers, but neatness, spelling (other than actual spelling tests), and following grammar rules was not emphasized like it was in my day and prior to that.
It's a great thing to want to express yourself and as long as what you write is just for you, you can do it in whatever manner you want to. But if you want to publish it for others to read, you will want it to be readable. Then you will want to make sure that you do your homework as to where and how to self-publish. Just because it is easy does not mean you can allow yourself to forget to be cautious. Writer's Digest has a section for blogging, self-publishing and more.
Helpful Links For Writers
- The Elements of Style
- A book every writer should include in their personal library.
- Roget's Thesaurus
- The thesaurus for all writers.
- The Best Reference Books for Writers
- The reference book short list.
- Reference Books for Writers
- A longer listing of good reference books for writers.
- 50 of the Best Websites for Writers
- A listing of 50 best online sites for writers.
- Top 25 Books for Writers and Writing-Related Topics
- 25 reference books for writers.
- Top 10 Reference Works for Writers and Editors
- About.com article listing the top 10 reference books for writers.
- Top 10 Blogs for Writers
- A top 10 Blog list for writers
- Top 50 Blogs for Writers
- A list of the top 50 blogs from Tribal Messenger
- My Name is Not Bob
- Robert Lee Brewer's blog for Writer's Digest.
Lincoln Library of Essential InformationThe Lincoln Library of Essential Information is a two-volume set of historical trivia written in the form of an encyclopedia. I first used these books in high school and it gave me a lot of topic ideas to write about. Later on, I was able to find these books in a used book sale. I recommend these books to any writer who can find copies. They are out of print so finding them would be only possible in a used condition. I found a set on eBay so you may still be able to do that.