Lazette Gifford
Publisher & Editor
zette@cableone.net

5 Web Sites to make you a Happier Writer

(A Review of Motivational Writing Sites)

By Grace Tierney
© 2007, Grace Tierney


Let me know if this rings a bell. The dark, wet days of winter oppress you. Your bank balance growls with hunger. You got three rejections already this week. Your 2007 plan for Writing World Domination looks over-ambitious. Your family and friends push details of “proper jobs” into your hands whenever you see them.

Ding-a-ling.

Yep, I thought so. Here’s five Web sites to splash a smile back onto your writing face, and maybe a few cents into your wallet at the same time.

Funds for Writers (http://www.fundsforwriters.com)

C. Hope Clark’s Web site regularly features on the writing award lists and her secret ingredient is simple – her big heart. Hope creates three newsletters each week (two of them free of charge) targeting beginner writers and more established writers in need of funds by listing contests, grants, markets, jobs, and methods to gain work which you often won’t find elsewhere. The newsletters themselves are paying markets. She runs an annual contest for essays about the writing life. She has a bookshelf of e-books available on every topic which could generate income for a writer, and having used them myself, I’m happy to declare them very useful indeed.

But what I love even more than the fact that this site does exactly what it claims to do (i.e. get funds into writers’ wallets), are the warm-hearted editorials in the newsletters, her honesty about her own writing struggles, and the positive warmth which radiates from all her writing.

Lifecoach E-mails (http://www.wildelifecoaching.com)

Have you heard of life coaching? The idea is that you hire one to work with you while you solve an issue in your life – giving up smoking, changing career, and weight loss would all be typical dilemmas. Having someone impartial in your corner helps you stay on track, and reporting to them regularly forces you to meet your own deadlines instead of being seduced by the latest episode of your favourite soap-opera.

The only downside is that a session with a life-coach costs about 100 dollars. Now, however, the solution is at hand. Check out Liz Wilde’s coaching site and sign up for her monthly motivational e-mails. If you’re in the UK you can even have a 20 minute phone session for free. She also provides a DIY course you can do from home, many of her tip-filled feature articles (mainly in women’s glossy magazines), more than a dozen books, and lots of inspirational and easy to implement steps to change your life. Perhaps today is the day to become your own writing coach?

Good Think (http://www.goodthink.com)

Patrick Coombes is an unusual guy. He knows how to turn every negative into a positive. As a teenager he used a prank to expose the needless red-tape of a large financial institution and ended up on national television as a result. Since then he’s become a writer and public-speaker who aims to inspire youngsters to find and follow their unique path to success in career and life. His site documents the many funny experiences he’s had along the way. His (irregular) emails have often inspired me to become a better writer and a better human. You’ll also find details of his speaking engagements (often at colleges), his books, and his current projects. He has a good heart and is worth listening to if you need motivation to write, to speak, or to change career.

The Rejection Collection (http://www.rejectioncollection.com)

Amazingly, this long-running site which allows writers to post details of their rejections and to share tips for coping when the envelope or e-mail contains a “no thanks” instead of a “please send the full manuscript” had been hacked into when I visited it for this article. I assume it will be back online shortly and I heartily recommend it for a read the next time you get an editorial kick in the teeth, if only to show you that yours wasn’t quite as dreadful as you thought it was.

In the meantime can I suggest you try Forward Motion’s own version of the rejection collection? Yes, step forward Justin and the gang at the Great Rejection Slip Contest. Simply sign up at any point during the year and begin logging each rejection (and acceptance) you receive for your writing work. Anything from flash fiction to a novel, non-fiction to trying to find an agent counts. Longer works merit more points and acceptances get you more points than rejections but the one thing this challenge will convince you to do is to get those submissions out there. The regulars on this forum are a friendly bunch who will happily congratulate and commiserate as appropriate. I’m on my fifth year of participation and I find it uplifting to have somewhere positive to log a rejection instead of hurling it at the waste-bin!

The Happy Guy (http://www.thehappyguy.com)

The pursuit of happiness is a noble one and if you need a map then the Happy Guy will be (pun intended) happy to help. I love his inspirational articles, particularly as they’re funny and down to earth, but you can also try his happiness workbook, a self-esteem quiz (and tips to improve it), learn how to keep a gratitude journal, do a free online Happy Class, and add your own definition of happiness to the site. Go on, give yourself permission to spend time on the pursuit of happiness today!

Other Web sites I use to drag myself out of the writing blues include –

Today, instead of moping about the rigours of the writing life, reach out for a more positive way. Get the right attitude and publication happiness is sure to follow. After all, we’re supposed to enjoy writing, right?

 

Grace Tierney can usually be found lurking around the Rejection Slip and Good News forums and has recently published her first book “Positive Thoughts for Writers” - a daily guide to being an upbeat writer (http://www.lulu.com.gracetierney)