To make amends for the fact that this blog is of no use whatsoever to anyone, I recently whipped up a list of websites I like to visit for writerly inspiration/information/procrastination. These weren't industry-watching sites. I feel that I'm such a small fry in the publishing pond it doesn't really matter what the big fish are up to. Some new suit is in charge of Simon & Schuster...and this will affect me how? Stephen King is getting $444,444,444,444,444.44 for his new novella, and that's lovely and I'm happy for him, but why the hell should I care? Etc. (On those rare occasions when I am looking for the scoop on the latest industry poop, I go to Galleycat. But I probably visit trekmovie.com more often.)
No, the sites I listed are more of the empowering, lookee-what-I-did-and-by-the-way-you-can-do-it-too kind. Because, by gum, these days we could all use a little more of that. Well, I could anyway. There have been times the past year when I doubted my own ability to effectively fill up a Post-It note. ("'Went to the store -- be back soon'? What swill! Nothing but cliches! I can't believe anyone ever paid me to put words together. Oh, god...how do you become a ditch digger?")
Now here's the thing about lookee-what-I-did-and-by-the-way-you-can-do-it-too sites for writers. These days, they tend to focus on e-publishing/self-publishing. Let's face it: That's where the lookee-what-I-did-you-can-do-it-too action is. In the past, I've been reluctant to embrace self-publishing, though I've been more or less pleased with how my own e-pubbing experiments have turned out. (More pleased: Naughty and Dear Mr. Holmes. Less pleased: My Dog Needs Surgery. I will be blogging soon about how jokey titles that tell potential buyers nothing about the actual product might be good for a chuckle, but as a marketing strategy they're completely craptacular.)
Anyway, all this build-up has been leading here: In the past month, I've started visiting a couple more lookee-you-too blogs, so my list of inspirational sites just got longer. Both the new additions balance uplifting rah-rah with practical nuts-and-bolts advice. If you're a writer (or even just someone who's interested in the view from the indie-versus-traditional-publishing trenches), you might want to check them out.
The Passive Voice
Passive Guy (as the dude who runs this site likes to call himself) has created a mega-helpful hub for links to fresh e-pub-oriented news and blog posts. Sweetening the deal, P.G. is a knowledgeable and opinionated attorney who occasionally steps in to editorialize on events of the publishing day. Plus, apropos nothing, he likes to sprinkle in random Dorothy Parker quotes. Which won't help you with your writing career, but it is always amusing.
Write It Forward
Bob Mayer is a former Green Beret, a prolific writer and a busy e-book publisher and marketer. He is also (thanks to his Write It Forward workshops) essentially a motivational speaker for wannabe authors. Now I'll be honest. I am a cynical man. Motivational speakers are not my bag. They are nowhere near my bag. My bag is a dark, scary, slightly smelly place that has no room for pep talks that reduce the struggle and stress of a writing career to handy-dandy acronyms for WINNING! (Writing Is Never Not Initiating Negotiable Gain!). But I like Bob Mayer. His blog is both inspiring and informative. Plus, he could probably kill me with both hands tied behind his back and his legs sunk three-feet-deep in dried concrete, so I should probably end by saying this: Hurrah for Bob Mayer!