Blogs and Newsletters
Is reading blogs and newsletters a tool to help you write? I guess so, if you follow the right ones. Now, I admit that there are thousands of blogs about writing (of which my own, of course, is only one). And I haven’t read those thousands, or probably even heard of more than a few dozen. So what follows is entirely subjective, and in no particular order.
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to consider books to be vital tools for a writer. But which books?
Every book you’ve ever read contributes to your knowledge and skill as a writer, of course. It’s very important to read. As Stephen King says, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time or the tools to write.”
Part 2 of a series on choosing the right tools to help you write. And a lot of personal reminiscences.
Word Processing Software
If you’re as old as I am, you will remember how much of a breakthrough the development of word processing was for writers. Instead of having to laboriously retype a long draft of a novel, the first draft could be saved on some storage medium and then edited. If you’re a lot younger than me, then you’ll be wondering why there was anything remarkable about the idea. Of course you’ve always been able to edit your writing on screen! Well, not so.
The Australian Writers’ Centre has a regular newsletter, and this week they ran with a meme based on this quote:
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit”
— Richard Bach
Albert Camus’ novel The Plague is one of my favourite books, despite its often depressing subject matter: an outbreak of bubonic plague in the city of Oran in Algiers just after the end of World War II. Among other things it’s a meditation on death and how we confront it, and it ends up being inspiring. Well worth your time if you haven’t read it.