Online Resources and Inspiration for Writers
As a writer I have found the Internet to be a wonderful and endless resource. For many of us, the Internet provides an important foundation for many aspects of the creative journey. We all have our own ideas and techniques that will get us writing. More often than not, our inspiration comes from real life places, people and the things that we experience, but we usually have to go one step further to really develop our ideas in stories and novels.
After the initial ‘thought’, which I’ll generally scrawl down on scrappy bits of paper, I will usually spend a good few weeks procrastinating and doing absolutely nothing at all that could be considered productive! It’s only when I get online and look at what other people are doing that I decide to get my act together.
I’m not sure about other writers, but to begin with I like to browse sites such as Deviant Art, Tumblr and Pinterest. I will pick out my favourite images to look at whenever I need a little writing inspiration and find the most fascinating, beautiful imagery that never fails to inspire me. Try it yourself! It could be a quote that strikes a chord with you, an image of a person or a place, anything at all. Within our daily lives it can be easy to lose inspiration, so it’s nice to take ten minutes to have a quick browse for anything that might motivate you to start writing if you’ve felt like you are in a bit of writing rut.
The wonderful thing about the online world is that it’s been around long enough now for you to be very specific about what you are looking for. There are so many websites and articles out there, that should you have a specific problem with your writing you can just google it! You never know what you will unlock. Try searching for ‘writing inspiration’ if that is your issue and see what you discover. I found an extremely useful website that I will definitely save for a later time:
All have very specific processes, so make sure you do all the necessary research and read every guide available to you before you submit anything for publishing. Your writing is one thing, but then you have to think about the way you present your work and yourself as a writer.
Another thing to consider when using these websites is the freedom you have. This is a wonderful power, though it can also be a little scary. Everything is in your hands. You can pay extra for editing, cover design and formatting services, but many choose to go it alone. How are you supposed to create something that looks professional and just like the books in Waterstones?! Well, that one’s on you! It’s important to make it look good, so research what’s popular right now. What grabs your attention? What do you think would look attractive to your target market? I personally will always judge a book by its front cover (and then the back – does it sound like an interesting read?)
If you choose to, you can seek out the opinions of others. I believe that some degree of networking is important for writers. There are many outlets out there where writers will converse and exchange their work. Forums are a great way to meet people and get constructive feedback on your writing, as well as getting a chance to see what other people are up to. Still, I always seem to find myself a little frightened off when I see the sheer volume of writers out there who doing exactly the same thing as I am. In spite of this, the fact that so many people utilise them certainly says something to me.
We all differ in our methods though. I find Twitter a much better resource for networking. This way I get to follow other writers and have them follow me. It’s great for conversation and learning what others are working on, and I can choose to read anything that catches my attention. Think about what kind of writer you are. What works for you? I know that being frightened off by the amount of writers out there shouldn’t be something that reduces creativity. Instead I choose to see it as a challenge, an opportunity to really step things up and create something outstanding and never seen before.
Overall, the Internet really is an amazing resource for writers. It’s just a matter of finding what works for you. The world of writing and publishing is constantly changing at the moment, which makes it a really exciting time to try and make a go of it as an author. Keep on top of the latest news and developments. Websites such as Writer’s Online (www.writers-online.co.uk) contain a shedload of useful information for writers, as well as details of writing competitions, new anthologies looking for submissions and articles on established writers to give you some inspiration. That’s one of the main things I like to do online – follow the careers of established writers. I like to find out how they got started and how long it took until they got somewhere. It’s a great motivation to carry on, as most authors carry a reminder that writing is hard work and it’s a battle to get to where you want to be.
Use your resources to both educate yourself, and to inform and inspire your writing. We are always looking to develop and better ourselves. It’s certainly de-motivating at times, so that’s why you must remember the huge network of fellow writers, help and advice which surrounds you on a daily basis. The writing world is changing, so if you are an aspiring writer, do your best to stay ahead of the crowd and never give up!