Over the years, I’ve read a number of books on writing, and I can highly recommend the following (and I have no doubt most of you will have heard of all of them already): Stephen King’s On Writing, Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, Anne Lammott’s Bird By Bird.
I don’t really read many writing blogs, or listen to many podcasts, but I’ve got a couple I can mention. I do have to give a shout-out to the podcast my own beloved agent, Bridget Smith, records with her agent friend Jennifer Udden. You can find them at shippingandhandlingpodcast.com, and they are absolutely wonderful. Two agents sharing a bottle of wine once or twice a month and gabbing about everything from social media branding to literary scandal to career longevity. I wish I’d known about it before I found Bridget, because they cover so much helpful material for writers who are still querying, or even trying to decide if they want to self-publish. They get into topics like contracts, movies, submission, second books, and so on and so forth. And they take questions through Twitter and a bunch of other places I can’t remember. At this point, I mostly listen to them for fun, but they are also undeniably useful. So give that one a try.
My favorite writer’s blog is The Flannel Files, and again I’m shamelessly plugging this because I know the writer IN REAL LIFE. Flannel Files is the blog put out by my writer friend, Rae Theodore. Rae has been a guest of ours here at the ball already, for her debut memoir Leaving Normal: Adventures in Gender. The blog is mainly little snippets of happenings in her life as a butch lesbian writer with a wife and three sons. The thing about Rae is just that her writing is so exquisite. I happened to meet her (through some mysterious great good fortune) when I lived outside Philadelphia for two years and joined a writing group she happened to be in. She blew me away with her words. Funny as hell, she can also break your heart. So I recommend that one, too, and I’m also giving you all a heads up that she’ll be back on the ball next year. I’ll be hosting her as a guest, and we’ll be giving away a copy of her latest memoir, My Mother Says Drums Are For Boys, so stay tuned!