Top 5: advice from a writer starting out

I would class myself as a writer. Yes, I’m a writer. I have had things published both online and in print, but I have by no means made it. In fact, I am at the very beginning of my career (if I can even call it that yet).

I blog (as anyone reading this already knows), I write for an online blog (paid, but not much), I desperately try to get commissioned for more articles for a variety of publications and I am working hard to get my first novel polished up so it is ready to send out.

Whether you’re a writer also, perhaps more experienced (which isn’t hard) and haven’t yet come across these useful materials, or simply interested in the writing industry and want to learn more about it, then here are five helpful sources for you to check out whenever you get a chance.

So far they have helped me, inspired me and deeply interest me. Here goes.

The Bookseller

I came across The Bookseller website on recommendation from a research source that I was using and so far I have found it fabulous.

The Bookseller has been the magazine of the book trade since 1888 reporting on all important news and trends within the industry. I personally have found it so great because like just about everything since 1888 it’s moved on and is no longer just a magazine. Now, with a small subscription fee you gain access to the most useful information in so many different forms.

From the official website bringing breaking news and a blog, to the magazine itself and everything in between. My favorite means of accessing this material is through the monthly podcasts containing interviews with authors, the book doctors giving advice on what to read and why, and comments upon general trends in terms of what is selling as well as useful discussions about the complexity of genre, for example. Trust me, this source is fab.

Writing Magazine

I have subscribed to the Writing Magazine for over a year now.

Although bombarding myself with the amount of information inside each monthly issue can seem overwhelming from time to time, having a glance each month, a longer look at what interests me and a pile by my desk to address when needing information or inspiration about writing is crucial to my work and interests.

Not to mention my letter getting published on the Letters to the Editor page in December, that was pretty cool.

Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook

Since undertaking my degree I have leaned on the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook as a bible for my future career and a recommendation by every tutor that I had. The huge volume is packed full of everything you need to know from how to write to which agents to approach when sending out your first manuscript.

It contains agent and publisher listings, magazine and newspaper listings, articles about specific topics from the traditions such as writing a cover letter and what to include in your synopsis, to tackling the most current issues like self-publishing.

Twitter

Twitter is so useful in so many ways. Not only does it keep you right up to date with celebrity gossip, trending news and the latest remarks from Katie Hopkins, but it is very handy in the literary world as well.

I follow every agent and publisher I have ever approached, I follow many authors too and more recently I have been using my personal profile purely from a writing perspective which has in turn increased my following from people within the writing community too.

It is a quick, easy to use and important thing to have both to learn about current writing news and trends as well as upping your following and trying to get both your name and your work out there. Follow me if you wish @MillsWriting

Reading

It almost goes without saying but by far one of the most important and beneficial things to do when trying to become a better writer is to read, read and read some more.

Having recently finished a first draft of a first novel, I can tell you from experience and I know that my work is better when I have been actively reading more alongside my writing.

Reading gives you ideas, inspiration, stylistic tips and the chance to discover what works for you and what doesn’t.

So there we have it, just a few ideas for some useful material if you wish to improve your writing skills, learn more about the industry or merely listen to some interesting discussions about books. Enjoy!

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