Tag Archives: resources

Becoming a Writer

becoming a writerby Mike O’Mary

I am editing a book about creative writing. I’m very excited about it. It’s more of a “why” write, rather than a “how” to write. But in the process of talking about why write, the author sheds a lot of light on how to write, as well. I think it’s going to be a great book. I’ll tell you more about it as we get closer to publication later this year.

For now, I want to tell you about another book about writing. Editing this current manuscript prompted me to refer back to one of the first books I read about writing: Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. If you are familiar with Brande’s book, you know the story…written in the 1930s by a woman whose teaching techniques incorporated right-brain thinking and transcendental meditation long before those concepts were popular…long before there were even names for those things! The book went out of print, but was brought back to life and light in 1981 with an introduction by John Gardner. The book is a treasure.

I said earlier that the book I am currently editing isn’t about how to write; it’s about why we write. Similarly, Becoming a Writer isn’t about how to write; it’s about how to be a writer. It’s very inspiring. If you’re not familiar with it, give it a read.

Another great book about writing is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. But more on that book another day. In the meantime, I’m curious: what books do you turn to for inspiration or instruction or motivation when it comes to your writing?

Mike O’Mary is founding dreamer of Dream of Things, an independent book publisher currently accepting creative nonfiction stories for anthologies on 15 topics.

Alternate Research Resources

free resources

Doing research for a new writing project or to come up with story ideas for your next magazine article? If you’re coming up dry when looking in the same old places, you probably need to start fresh in some areas you wouldn’t normally go.

A great example is FREE–Federal Resources for Educational Excellence. There is a nice little treasure trove of ideas and information waiting for you at this .gov site, all of them free and easy to access. It’s certainly not the only site of its kind, but is an excellent place to start looking for fresh ideas. The next time you get stuck for a topic, check out FREE to help get those creative process up and running again.

International Freelancing

Sure, it was published in 2005, but I found this great article on international freelancing to be quite interesting indeed. Most fascinating was the idea of offering an employer a competitive edge by being able to submit work during “our” normal working hours that would arrive overseas in the middle of the night, waiting for the editor first thing in the morning.

Sure, not all freelance gigs require such timely delivery, but it is an interesting selling point, depending on what you are trying to pitch and where.

If you’ve never tried freelancing “across the pond”, it’s definitely full of potential, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Stay tuned for some posts that address this issue as Cath and I both have experience in this area. In the meantime, check out Inkwell Editorial for the article and others like in collected in a series covering international freelance issues.

Making Blog Money: AllFreelanceWriting.com

Jennifer Mattern has some sage advice for writers who want to branch out as professional bloggers. Do you want to start earning money from your own blog? Mattern’s article is a great place to begin, but even if you’ve been in the blogging game for a while, check out her Make Money Blogging post and have a look. You’ll find some good advice I think gets overlooked in the rush to sign up for affiliate marketing programs and Google Ads; there is plenty of money to be made with e-books and digital downloads.

Of course, you have to have something to say in those e-books and downloads, but that’s another issue for another post. The real value of this article is in the common-sense approach it takes. No, not all bloggers are going to earn big money from their work. Mattern points out that many people just don’t know how to market a blog effectively. But those who take the time to learn the ropes and follow the advice laid out in the article stand a much greater chance of getting those paychecks.

I love AllFreelanceWriting.com for its BS-free writing and a complete refusal to claim that ANYBODY can do this stuff. The advice is great, the attitude is much appreciated, and if you need a good kick in the pants motivationally speaking, this site is the place. Recommended.

Need a Gig? Try Krop

I just stumbled across this job site for creatives while reading through a great list of freelance resources at FreelanceSwitch. Krop.com offers a variety of gigs for creatives, and while the opportunities listed at Krop for writers are fewer than a graphic designers, you can still find some new media jobs where the boss is hungry for writing skills. In our new (dead) economy, chances are everyone you know is looking around to see where they might be able to hook up on the rebound when that main gig or gravy-train freelance work dries up.

Of course, none of the freelancers I know are hurting at present, but you never know when you might need to take a few extra jobs to replace a skittish publisher for a little while.  If your current markets are getting tougher to sell, have a look at Krop and see what you can find…