A gray, rainy, windy day. I really prefer days like this to be Fridays; that way, it’s a depressing day but you can go home and take a nap and watch TV without that oppressive “school night” feeling—especially the “It’s a Monday and the whole week is ahead of me” school night feeling. Sigh.
I need to amend my earlier resolution, that about blogging every week. I will hereby state that I will blog every Monday except holidays. If I’m off, I’m not online. I have dial-up on my home computer for the specific purpose of keeping me off the internet when I should be writing. I figure, I have Ethernet at work, and that’s plenty. Of course, when I need to email my manuscripts to people, it’s annoying. But it keeps me off the internet. Therefore I can find my distraction with magazines, recipes, staring out the window, deciding that I have to find my old glowing pen right now, and all kinds of cleaning that won’t get done otherwise.
However, the internet has a whole lot of writing resources. I think today is going to be an ode to the best, the sites that I can’t live without, the sites that have taught me what it’s like to be a working writer and yet haven’t persuaded me to change my focus.
Query Shark: http://queryshark.blogspot.com/
This is first because, once you’ve written the book, the query is the first step. Janet Reid is a literary agent for Fine Print Literary Management, and she knows her stuff. She also has a non-query-oriented blog, http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/ in which she discusses conferences and some of her clients. Both are definitely worth checking out.
Nathan Bransford: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/
A San Francisco-based agent who also gives a lot of inside scoops on the state of the industry. He’s a writer himself, with a YA book, JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW, due out in 2011. Unfailingly encouraging, not snarky (though I do love me some snark; I wouldn’t like Query Shark if I couldn’t handle snark), and, judging from his picture, rather handsome.
Kristin Nelson: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/
She blogs from (and works in) Denver. She has been very educational lately, posting *successful* query letters (and why they worked) and good opening pages from queries. She talks about the ins and outs of contracts, tiny details you might not think you need to worry about. But worry you should. She’ll tell you why.
The Rejectionist: http://www.therejectionist.com/
My current favorite. Sarcastic? Sure. Hilarious? Always.
Editorial Anonymous: http://editorialanonymous.blogspot.com/
On the marketing side: Market My Words, at http://faeriality.blogspot.com/ -- a writer and marketing consultant combines her two fields and blogs about them for your benefit!
(even if she does give time and space to one of The Hills’ vacuous stars—I won’t say her name so she won’t get the Google Alert)
Pimp My Novel: http://pimpmynovel.blogspot.com/ The same theme as Market My Words, but a different style altogether. Has a handy weekly roundup thing on Fridays if you can manage to check only once a week.
These are my go-to sites; I check them early and often. It helps a lot to be well-versed not only in what publishing professionals like, but what they’re seeing, what they do. Reading blogs can be misinterpreted as a waste of time (fie! And that doesn’t apply to this one!) but, if you find your overly active conscience reprimanding you for that, try to internalize the idea that knowing about this industry is just as important as writing.
Not as important as writing/a definite waste of time (but oh-so-enjoyable): Crazy Days and Nights. Try it, get sucked in. My apologies.