The number one reason I unsubscribe from writer's newsletters is negative email headlines like Stop Procrastinating and Finally, You Can Finish Your Novel and 10 tips to focus better and finish in 2016 Why are there so many negative assumptions all the time?

I get it that there are a lot of people who live in a world where they can't seem to finish something but what about those of us who are finishing but still need to learn more?

So what are your favorite resources for writers that assume we're actually writing?

I usually sign up for marketing, formatting and plotting tips, not to be shamed as if I were unproductive. I just hit publish on my third book this month (they weren't all started this month) and I'm looking for resources for active writers. I write about 5000 words per day.

  • It sounds like you...don't need newsletters. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 19:51
  • 3
    I think what you need are mutually supportive friendships to other writers at a similar point in their career. Start networking.
    – user5645
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 20:46
  • 3
    And why are you using a stock photo model instead of an image of yourself in your Amazon, Twitter, and personal website? That gives off a feeling of untrustworthiness. I would either show my real face or remain faceless, but never try to deceive the reader.
    – user5645
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 20:55

3 Answers 3


The Writing Excuses podcast offers a lot of tips and discussion on specific aspects of the writing craft. It's mainly geared towards writers of sci-fi/fantasy, but includes plenty of advice that is general enough to be useful to writers of any genre.

There are 11 (and counting) seasons' worth of podcasts at this point, so if you hunt around you will almost definitely find some great pointers on craft.


Once you get past the ra ra enthusiasm of the forums, you need genuine criticism, both of your own work and of literature and the writing process in general. That is hard to find online, in part because of the sheer volume of ra ra out there, and also because there is less of an outlet for mature critical thought online compared to more traditional venues like writing classes, writing conferences, and books.

There are some classic works on writing that are well worth your attention. Some of my favorites are

  • Aspects of the Novel, E.M. Forster
  • Reading like a Writer, Francine Prose
  • Story, Robert McKee
  • On Fairy Stories, JRR Tolkien
  • The Art of Fiction, John Gardner
  • The Writer's Journey, Christopher Vogler

Other people
Feedback, collaborations, challenges with other writers - some practical ways to improve your craft technically. You may be writing a novel, but challenging a writer friend to an unrelated exercise (ie short surreal story, dialogue, manifesto) each day will have a lot of benefits.

Thoughtful articulate people will illuminate how your stuff reads to others, which can steer you back towards your goal. Most writers I know work in a vacuum. The ones who share their work for ideas and criticism throughout the process write at a higher level, and are more frequently published.

"Politics and the English Language"
Orwell's ideas for improving writing in this short essay are very practical. If you create a checklist of his ideas, and apply them to a piece of writing, it will undoubtedly improve. I love his ideas on clarity.

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