I have three beautiful kids, ages four, two and one. From the moment the sun wakes them up and their sweet voices pull me out of bed, to the last little moments where they peek out of their rooms before falling asleep, I am their everything. My time is all wrapped up in them and their needs most of the day. Except for writing. I knew that I would be the best mom for them if I had at least one thing for me. So, 4 years ago, during my down time I started writing because it was something cheap and gratifying I could do for myself. Since then my love for it has grown. Part of what I love most about it is that there's so much to learn!
I might not have been in a stage of my life that was ideal for formal education, but I used the tools I did have to learn tools that would help my writing get better. During dishes, laundry, showers, and driving; any time I could reasonably listen to or watch something on writing, I soaked it in.
Many of you find yourselves in similar situations. Maybe you have a demanding day job, you’re a full-time student, or you're stay at home parents. You have precious little time to yourself, and no luxury of taking formal classes. Lucky for us we live in the mighty age of the internet where YouTubers, bloggers, and podcasters alike reign supreme. For those who have the desire, there is no end to the things that can be learned.
So, here are just a few of my favorite online resources for writing that have made those spare moments worthwhile.
1. Jenna Moreci
Your potty mouth, tell it to you straight, writing coach, Jenna Moreci is the science fiction and fantasy author of Eve The Awakening, and The Savior’s Champion. She’s an independently published author with a background in business which has given her writing career a successful edge that she shares with her audience. Her videos go into depth about her publishing process and other writing tips, and the Cyborg Queen pulls no punches.
I've found these three videos to be especially helpful:
CreateSpace vs IngramSpark: Which One is Better for Selfpublishing
How To Write With A Full Time Job
Tips For a Successful Book Cover
2. Kim Chance
On the other side of the spectrum Kim Chance is the feel good, make you smile, best friend/soul sister who you go out to lunch with because she makes you feel energized and ready to write again.
Kim Chance is the author of YA fantasy novel Keeper and it's sequel Seeker (coming out fall 2019). Her YouTube Channel is full of solid writing advice, but her true charm comes through most when she settles in for personal heart to hearts about writing. Also, this years she is working as a YA Mentor for #Pitchwars
I'll start you off with these three inspiring videos:
Coffee Talk: 4 Things Writers Need to Embrace
Dont Give Up on Your Writing: a Pep Talk For Writers
How To Deal With Haters
3. Writing Excuses
"15 minutes long because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart!"
If you’ve been in the writing game for any amount of time, this is probably old news for you. Yet, in the same way that Steven King or JRR Tolkien deserve their praises despite the familiarity of their name, you cannot deny the usefulness of this charismatic group and their snappy podcast. This year they are doing an excellent series of “Things Writers Get Wrong” where they talk to experts in various fields about the kinds of things writers misrepresent about a particular occupation, ethnicity or lifestyle. One of my favorites, of course, is with guest speaker Aliette de Bodard on what writers get wrong about motherhood.
4. 7 Deadly Sins Of Writing the First Page
This video, from the Sci-Fi Fantasy Fun channel, talks about mistakes we all make that keep the readers from connecting with the story from the very first page. What I love is that it dissects specific examples to help make the seven deadly sins easy to spot in your own work. Then he gives very doable examples on how to correct each sin. It turns the daunting process of writing a contest worthy, agent wooing first page into a process that feels much more doable.
5. Passive Voice, To Be or Not To Be
Finding and fixing passive voice errors in your manuscript is a sure fire way to take your writing to the next level. Still, I had a tough time wrapping my head around the whole concept of passive voice until Rachel Huffmire work shopped this with our writing group. This blog post, written by Rachel herself, is a concise and easy to follow map of that workshop. It provides simple to understand examples that will help you tackle passive voice in your WIP as well.
6. Levar Burton Reads
You can't be a writer without being a reader, of course. But as a full time Mom, I will be the first to tell you that it's hard to find time to sink your teeth into a book, and audiobooks can be expensive. This podcast delivers high-quality short stories in a variety of genres narrated by one of my generation’s favorite voices. Just a couple of my favorite episodes are What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky, The Paper Menagerie, and The Truth About Owls. But you don't have to take my word for it!
7. Beta Reader Worksheet
I recently have been going through the beta reader process. It’s magical when avid writers and readers are willing and able to pick your WIP apart and help you dig deeper than you could on your own. Sometimes friends and family are excited to help but aren't quite sure what kind of feedback is actually helpful. This Beta Reader Worksheet bridges that communication gap between writer and readers so both get the most from the experience.
What is your favorite online resource?
These resources make being a self-learned writer a pleasure and an ease (well… easier at least). I hope they help and uplift you as you pursue your passion in the midst of conquering all the rest of life’s to-dos. Of course, these are not even the tip top of the iceberg as far as useful resources go- if you have a favorite website, YouTuber or podcast, please tell me all about it in the comments below!
We're all writers, we're all moms, writing our way through the "brambles" of life and our stories.