You are a writer. That is the first step. The second step is admitting to it.
The third leg of the journey to Published Author is finding help to polish your writing. I started this post by looking up Writer’s Digest, 101 Best Websites for Writers. When I followed the links of several well-known sites, I was startled. Many were on hiatus. Some had months-old posts. Several had wall-to-wall ads.
So I went back to my favorites, the ones who have been there for me ever since my early days. Now a soapbox moment. I’ve said this before so bear with me cuz I’m gonna say it again:
Authors helping writers is one of the most awe-inspiring part of this business.
What other trade helps wannabes to this extent? I don’t know of anyone. To follow that thought, here are a bunch of established authors, agents, and good folks who give their time and expertise to others:
Grammar Girl, or Quick & Dirty Tricks to Grammar. Need to know when to use the word “which”? Hanged vs hung? Whether to capitalize dear old mom/Mom? Get the book. Or better yet, check out the website.
Janet Reid, literary agent. Yeah, she’s cranky at times, threatens to sic her shark on you, and on occasion...ahem...could use Grammar Girl’s expertise. But, what a site! She gives valuable advice, crits your queries, and smacks you upside the head when your attention wavers. *sigh*
Marcy Hatch. Yes, one of our own moderators at UnicornBell. She and Dianne Salerni team up each month to critique first pages. Want experts to give your pages a once-over? Check out their websites.
Query Tracker. An all-purpose website that lists agents and what they represent, forums for critiques, and advice for every writer. This is available for free or pay for the premium subscription.
YAtopia. If Young Adult is your passion, this is the site for you. I love the oodles of advice this collection of talented writers give.
Literary Rambles. Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre created a blog that highlights children’s books, authors, agents, and publishing. Ms McCormick also started the awesome Agent Spotlight to introduce agents to their potential clientele.
Shannon Lawrence aka The Warrior Muse. Need a resource for writing tips, prompts, and publishers accepting submissions? Well here you go.
I can’t think of a website with a better title: Writers Helping Writers. If you know the book, The Emotion Thesaurus, then you know these folks. Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman started with a blog, The Bookshelf Muse, about physical and character attributes. The blog grew into a monster and they decided to move to a bigger, better organized site.
For a change of pace: Horror Writers Association. Even if you don’t read or write horror, check out some of their writing tips.