On the blog today I’m sharing a simple, but value filled, list of writing resources. Nine places you can turn for indispensable advice and guidance from the some of the best writers in the world.
This is by no means an exhaustive list – I could spend a whole year writing that and still not be finished. But what I’ve given you are the main sources I’ve learnt from, or use to refresh my writing brain when I need new ideas, tactics or simply to remind myself why I do what I do.
So let’s jump straight in:
In 2002 this style guide for journalists was given to me by my tutor at the London College of Printing (now the London College of Communications). I still refer to it regularly because it’s full of no-nonsense guidance about the skill of effective writing.
I’m a massive fan of the Guardian. Here they curate a collection of great resources about writing including an excellent guide to newswriting that covers many of the tips I learnt during my journalism training.
In 1980 if you’d happened to open the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ journal ‘Transaction on Professional Communications’ you would have stumbled across some of the most timeless advice about writing you could hope to find.
American novelist, Kurt Vonnegut published this essay promising to ‘tell you how to put your style and personality into everything your write’ as part of an advertisement series for the International Paper Company.
At the time the series was created to address the need, now that “the printed word is more vital than ever,” for “all of us to read better, write better, and communicate better.” Vonnegut’s eight rules for great writing are even more relevant today.
“If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.”
Equally relevant are the eight tips he gives on how to write a great short story in this short clip:
Talk about timeless advice. His seventh point couldn’t be closer to a guiding light for everything we write today:
“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
I have to admit I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my Kindle to read next because it is cited by other writers I admire – James Altucher for instance – as an invaluable guide. Part memoir, part writing guide King shares his writer’s tool kit, a reading list and assignments and more.
A twitter feed well worth following for a regular dose of inspiration and writerly wisdom. I’ve added it to the twitter list of writing resources I check in with on a daily basis.
Blogging guru Jon Morrow’s site is packed to the brim with post after post of unparalleled advice about writing and blogging.
My favourite posts:
- How to be unforgettable
- 20 Rules for Writing So Crystal Clear Even Your Dumbest Relative Will Understand
- 7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful
For everything related to earning a living as any kind of writer. Includes both excellent writing ‘how to’ articles as well as practical advice about the business side of earning a living as a writer.
It’s also not a bad place to target guest post pitches if you are on the look out for somewhere to promote yourself.
Does what it says on the tin. A practical step-by-step guide from one of the best bloggers around, Darren Rowse. From how to write a list post (like this one!) to building relationships with other bloggers, Darren covers it all.
This podcast often features on the ‘On the go’ list I create for my daily morning walk.
I’m not afraid to admit I have a business crush on Amy Porterfield. Her podcast is pure gold in terms of the wealth of wisdom she shares about online marketing. She’s got it all covered.
She totally gets the value of great copy and in the two podcasts below she teams up with veteran copywriting powerhouse, Ray Edwards, to offer stellar advice.
- How to write copy that sells with Ray Edwards
- Copywriting tips to persuade and promote with Ray Edwards
So there we have it. Nine places you can turn to for quality writing advice. As well me of course!
I recommend making an effort to read/listen to these, or at least the ones that resonate with you or dig into an aspect of writing you’re interested in.
If you haven’t got time to read them all now bookmark each link and save them somewhere for future reference. I keep most of these in an Evernote notebook as an always available reference guide.
Are there any other awesome writing guides you’d recommend? I’m always on the look out for new sources of inspiration. Share your recommendations in the comments.
Here’s to writing with style!