10 June 2011

Reading for Writing: Top 10 Writing Blogs and Books to Improve Your Skills

Lists are the butterfly nets that catch my fleeting thoughts...
~ Betsy Cañas Garmon

I admit it.  Sometimes I read to avoid writing.  I troll Amazon looking for yet another book that is sure to turn me into a Hemingway or a Flannery.  I devour volumes of poetry and inhale sheets and sheets of poetry handbooks.  I follow several “writerly” blogs and use their creative prompts and heed their hard-won advice.  And of course, I assimilate works of the great authors and poets in order to learn their techniques and imbibe their amazing gift for word imagery and nuance.

All these resources are great places to go for inspiration, knowledge, and the honing of one’s craft.  For your research pleasure ~ in alphabetical order ~ here is a list of the top 10 blogs and books [it was tough to pick just 10!] that I have found both helpful and entertaining in becoming a better writer.


Can Poetry Matter – Dana Gioia
Nothing speaks for eloquently to the role and place of poetry in modern life today like this essay.

Confident Writing – Joanna Paterson
Even though I’ve never met her, and have only been reading her blog for the past few months, I feel as if I know Joanna personally.  Writing style can say a lot about a person, so I know that she’s warm, friendly, generous, empathetic, courageous, and a great writer to boot.

Poetic Asides – Robert Lee Brewer
A Writer’s Digest blog with more useful tips and prompts.  Has weekly poetry prompts on Wednesdays.

Poemcrazy – Susan G. Wooldridge
“It’s impossible to teach anyone to write a poem.  But we can set up circumstances in which poems are likely to happen. . . .Playing with words, we can get to the place where poems come from.”

WordCount – Michelle Rafter
Michelle always has tips that are useful right now for freelance writers.  And she throws a great Blogathon!

Write Anything – Various
A great blog with tips, creative writing prompts and Fiction Friday.  I haven’t participated in that yet, but maybe today!

Writing Forward – Melissa Donavan
Whether it’s how to improve grammar, word choice, editing advice, or creative writing prompts, I always learn something.

Write It Sideways – Suzannah
Writing advice from an accredited teacher.

Write to Done - Leo Babauta and Mary Jaksch
From the A-List Bloggers Club.  These articles are spot on and will heat up your writing!

Writerly Life – Blair Hurley
Another great source for writing prompts and writing advice.  I love Blair’s writing style: it’s open and easy to read ~ I feel like she’s right there in the room with me, encouraging me to keep at it.   Must read: Writing Bullies


Finished reading?  Great.  Now we take the plunge and marry the knowledge we’ve gleaned with the talent we possess and go create.

So. . .what are you waiting for?  What am I waiting for?  Let’s write!

Oremuc pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

What writing blogs do you read every day?  What books on writing or poetry do you recommend?  I’d love to hear!

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