The blogosphere is brimming with insightful, useful info. But it’s also home to a lot of noise. And there’s little time to spend searching for worthwhile additions to your blogroll.
I think that’s why I’m often asked which writing blogs I read loyally. In truth, I’m not sure why I haven’t posted my picks here sooner. So without further wordage, and in no particular order, here are my seven absolute favorites:
Oh how I love Linda Formichelli. Her advice on freelance writing is laser sharp. (Think: how to write query letters that will land gigs and how to maintain fruitful and lasting relationships with your editorial contacts.) I also love her quick-and-tidy daily email, “Morning Motivation for Writers.” It’s pretty much required reading for me over that first cup of coffee. When you sign up for her mailing list, you also get a free e-book in which real editors of established glossy magazines dish (anonymously) on their worst writer pet peeves. Trust me; I was glued to that e-book, and you will be, too.
Copyblogger’s main product is training. The company focuses on how to help writers and small-business owners develop online marketing strategies that work. Not your focus? That’s OK. This is still a blog worth keeping on your list. Industry leaders regularly post on how to write well, how to gain traction with social media and how to manage your day-to-day freelance life. Check out one of my all-time favorite posts: “8 Strange Rituals of Productive Writers”.
This is more of a Web site for all-things-communication than an actual blog. But the company behind it updates its main feed every single day, so it still presents a blog-like daily dose of something new. I love the short, sweet pieces on everything from “troublesome verb pairs” to the AP Stylebook’s latest updates. You’ll also find advice tailored to PR pros, executive communicators and even speechwriters. And if those topics don’t catch your eye, how about “5 PR Lessons from Katy Perry Songs?”
Creator Maria Popova has made reading, and writing about it, her life’s work. And her passion for that pursuit is unmistakeable. Brainpickings features dense, chewy articles on books Popova loves and the people who create them. Popova’s ability to provide context for literary works, both past and present, is one of her standout strengths. If you’re looking for a book recommendation, a musing on life through literary eyes or a commentary on one of the world’s great writers, look no further than Brainpickings. It’s like the best college literature class ever, but way better.
Put simply, this is a blog dedicated to the pursuit of writing better. Editor Mary Jaksch and her team of guest bloggers explore topics such as creating story structure, transitioning from idea to execution, refining characters, plot conflicts and more. And in case you need more ideas, Write to Done also researches, rates and recommends other writing blogs through its “Top 10 Blogs for Writers” annual list.
Realistically speaking, freelance writing “rates” are often determined by clients’ budgets, not by what the writer charges. Thus, it’s tough, especially in the beginning, to earn a decent wage from freelance assignments. If you get caught writing for content mills, it’s even more difficult to get out of the low-wage cycle. With posts like “How I made 6 Figures as a Freelance Writer in 2011,” award-winning blog author Carol Tice shows readers how to create and maintain lasting and lucrative freelance careers. I have to admit, I’ve just recently discovered this gem of a blog. And I can’t wait to read more.
Author Jeff Goins writes books about writing and the inward and outward journey toward establishing one’s most fulfilling career. He also writes with compassion and empathy about the personal and professional challenges and triumphs that come with deciding to become a full-time writer. I love the honest and encouraging tone his posts take. I’ve never met Jeff but I can’t help thinking he must be the world’s nicest guy. My favorite item of late is a series Jeff created dedicated to the idea of slowing life down and embracing the quality, not quantity of activities one performs daily. Find that here.
I’d love to hear from you. Are you a loyal follower of these blogs, too? What other writing blogs do you recommend? Leave them some love in the comments section, and have a fantastic weekend!