When you’re a writer, there are a LOT of people who want to give you advice. A lot of that advice contradicts each other, although that doesn’t actually make it bad. It just means that not all advice is for everyone. Part of the learning process is figuring out which advice works for you and what you can safely ignore.
I try to absorb as much info as I can, on the principle that it can’t hurt to get as many different perspectives as possible. It can get overwhelming, especially in the bad old days when I was still trying to find my feet and listened to everyone all the time. As with anything else, once I had read enough and got more practiced at sorting out the useful from the not-for-me it got easier to find the writers who really made sense to me.
Over time I’ve curated a collection of blogs that I find to have the most diverse–and useful–advice for me. YMMV, of course, but in no particular order, here are the top blogs on my weekly reading list:
- Bookends Literary Agency is one of the top agencies for mysteries (among other genres), in large part because of Jessica Faust. Whenever she does a Q-and-A or gives advice from the perspective of an agent, I listen.
- Career Authors is a new(ish) website, run by a selection of publishing professionals. From a Senior Editor at Penguin Random House to bestselling authors and guest contributors with all sorts of experience, they cover just about every subject you might have questions on.
- Truth be told, I don’t know a lot about Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I know she’s a bestselling author and runs a handful of businesses. To me, she’s the no-nonsense, straight-talking writer of her Business Musings blog series. Do you want to know more about contracts or the nitty-gritty details you won’t learn about anywhere else of getting your rights back from a publisher? Kris is your woman. In my experience, her blog is unique and entirely invaluable.
- Publishing Crawl is a website a lot like Career Authors in that it’s run by people from all over publishing. They run the only podcast I’ve ever listened to, aptly titled Publishing Crawl Podcast. In both media types they discuss the stages of writing, craft, and how to be socially responsible with your writing. If Career Authors is too overwhelming (and it can be intimidating), start with Pub Crawl, because everyone writes in a friendly tone that is super accessible.
The rest of the blogs I read are specifically by authors in my genre, like the Maine Crime Writers, SleuthSayers, and Ladies of Mystery. In these cases, I read partly to learn, but also partly to keep up with what’s going on in the world of mystery writing and my fellow writers.
Do you have favorite industry blogs? Do you write a favorite industry blog? What’s a bit of advice you wish you’d learned earlier? Let me know!
P.S. My mss is at 69,000 words!