Milan Kundera said in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting that the sure sign that a society was on the verge of ruin is that everybody wants to be a writer. Well, we’re all fucked then. Because today everybody is publishing something on the Internet and thinking of themselves as a writer.
A lot of the people that I know who think of themselves as writers don’t actually do a lot of writing. Could be you’re one of those people and that’s okay! Absolutely no accusation or judgment intended! I have thought of myself as a writer since 1998 and there have been times during that stretch when I haven’t done much writing. (Ironically, in terms of sheer word count I probably did more writing in 1997 than I do now, yet I didn’t think of myself as a writer then.)
However, there are some people online who REALLY ARE WRITERS. Working, published writers who write fascinating blogs about books and writing and being a writer. And today I’m going to share some of my favorites with you:
The Teresa Jusino Experience: Teresa is a freelance writer who is in the Studio Square Writing Workshop with me. As a writer, she has tremendous range — she’s tried her hand at fiction, pop culture criticism, personal essays, spec teleplays and her own web series. She has an ability to network that I constantly envy. Her blog is so interesting because it’s a wonderful chance to read about what life is like for a talented, ambitious young woman who dedicates herself one hundred and ten percent to freelance writing. It’s not an easy life but Teresa lives it to the hilt.
Susie Bright’s Blog: Susie is an amazing person and a writer to look up to. She didn’t just find a niche to fill, she created practically created it. She’s the original “sexpert” (she popularized the term, which she nonetheless claims to hate) — a pansexual, ex-hippie who always has fascinating things to say about sex, politics and the places where they intersect. She writes long blog posts — essays, really — and she’s a prolific book writer, columnist and podcaster. The content on her blog is available to free but I subscribed to it anyway for five bucks a month after reading a magnificently moving post Susie wrote about how the economy is affecting writers and how they’re too proud to admit it. You should to.
Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent: Rachelle is a literary agent (it’s in the title). Her blog is about how to have a professional relationship with an agent without making an ass of yourself with amateur mistakes or prima donna bullshit. Rachelle will show you that agents are more than mercenary parasites whose only joy in life is commodifying your beautiful, beautiful art.
Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent: Another blog by an agent. Nathan is a young adult writer, and he seems to most represent genre fiction. This would make his blog less interesting to me than Rachelle’s except for the fact that he has made it his mission to keep his readers abreast of shifting world of publishing (the ascendancy of e-books are covered in a lot of these entries). And he copy edits his readers’ first pages.
Whatever, by John Scalzi: Scalzi is a successful sci-fi novelist and a freelance writer of magazine articles on such a wide array of topics that it makes me dizzy. Two things that I have little interest in being. But he writes amazing posts on the art and the craft of writing and gives great advice to all kinds of writers. The secret to his success? He tells it straight, but doesn’t let the naked truth of the writing world detract from how wonderful it is to write.
Paul Cornell: This is a nerdy blog and all the more fun for its nerdiness. Paul is a dorky British guy who got his start writing Doctor Who novels in the early ’90s, dark years for fans of that show. Since then he has moved slightly up market: he wrote the unforgettable “Human Nature” for the DW revival series, writes a core Superman series for DC Comics and is producing his own pilots for the BBC. And he still somehow finds time to write long blog posts about it.
The Book Deal: This is a blog by Alan Rinzler, a book editor, who covers how to write books, how to sell them and the major changes in the book business. What Rachelle does for agents, Alan does for editors. And he makes being a writer sound distinctly unglamorous.
Leave a comment! What writing blogs do you recommend?