5 Web Sites to make you a Happier Writer
Review of Motivational Writing Sites)
By 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
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)
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