Monday, March 3, 2014

The Writing Craft

Whether you write for yourself or write to be published, the information in this post may be of help to you. Maybe you write non-fiction books or articles for magazines, or maybe you write fiction such as romance, mysteries, dramas, whether in novel form or short stories.  If so, there is information here for you. Many writers are poets, or write for children. Some are songwriters. Many writers don't know what to do once they start writing to turn their work into something publishable. There is help here for that as well.

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?

Whatever you have written, if you are ready to think about being published, the best place to start is with The Writer's Market. The Writer's Market is an annual directory put out by Writer's Digest Magazine. In this directory you will find listings for every type of market out there that buys and publishes the works of writers. You will also want to get a subscription, or visit your local library for Writer's Digest Magazines so you can learn more all the time about the craft of writing. Writer's Digest is known to be the best reference for writers that there is out there today. Whether you are just a beginner or have published many books and articles in the past, this magazine is the best option for you. Both Writer's Market and Writer's Digest go hand in hand to help you make the best of your writing. Below you can find where to purchase Writer's Market as well as where to subscribe to Writer's Digest Magazine. If your writing is specialized, you will also want to purchase one of the marketing directories for that specialty.

Reference Books For Writers

There are more reference books for writers than you can even begin to imagine. Each writer has his or her own styles so there are books to help with that. There are books about the writing craft in general. And there are books that are much more specific to genre and more. You will find many of these options for you here as well as listings of websites for writers. These are all put there to help writers network with other writers as well as learn valuable lessons from them.


There are so many people writing poetry today. It's great to know that people can express themselves in such a beautiful way. Many are writing only for themselves. Others wish to be published at some point. With poetry, it can be a little different than it is with writing fiction or non-fiction. But it can be done. The thing to do is to learn all you can about publishing your poetry.

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.


Like poetry, writing music or lyrics to be published so that an artist will perform them and make the big bucks is not an easy task to accomplish. You will need to do your homework. It is highly unlikely that you are going to write something and have it end up being used right away. I know a guy who "writes" music who doesn't put a note down on paper. It's all just recorded as he creates it on his computerized keyboard. He expects his music to be used as the soundtracks for movies. However, he doesn't really know how to go about reaching his goals. I think this is a common problem for many writers of all genres. They just don't know how to follow through from the writing stage to the publishing stage. Songwriter's Market is the place to learn everything you need to know on what steps to take once the music has been written. Again, like with poetry, don't let yourself get trapped by a website or magazine ad that might only be a scam to get your money and give you nothing in return.

Blogging, eBooks, and More

The internet is opening doors to all types of writing and self-publishing. The problem with this is that a lot of grammatically bad writing is getting put out there and the people who are doing this writing consider themselves great authors while expecting to make an income. Just because you can do it yourself so easily now, does not mean that you don't have to offer the same kind of quality that regular publishers require.

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 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 Information 

The 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.

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