Spirit of Writing Week 9: Useful Gifts For Writers (and Free Tips too…)

Most writers have a lot of “stuff.” I know I do. It started when I was a baby and it all came out in the wash when my parents transported me to college in our green Dodge minivan. I could barely fit in once it was packed. No one talks about any tearful breakdowns, more than the stunned realization of (and I quote my mother here): “Jesus, that girl had sooooooo much stuff…” But, believe it or not, I want more…but I really do believe it is possible to give very useful things to writers.

There is something in the nature of the loner personality both ill-fated and magically destined to imagine for a living which creates a kleptomania for life overall, the evidence of which are writers’ astounding collections of curiosities and mementos and souvenirs and cats and dogs and even people. And, of course BOOKS. But! It is actually okay for you to add to it with the right gifts. Anything to keep a person who daydreams and types silently for a long time feeling they are not alone, and there are others who are not only so crazy but actually successful and prosperous at it, is the perfect gift in my book.

Since I am to remain focused on the Spirit of Writing here, I borrowed this list of tips and resources from my Goodreads Blog…so over there I do not necessarily recommend the “Thank God I did it!” massage gift certificates and upbeat/comedy movie tickets to unwind to. These are primarily the gifts that keep on giving…motivation and community and reference in this complicated but exhilarating world of writing…necessary for writers and authors at all levels in all genres and styles.

A DIGITAL OR PRINT SUBSCRIPTION TO ONE OF THESE PUBLICATIONS:
Poets & Writers Magazine
The Writer Magazine
Writer’s Digest
Writer’s Chronicle
Publishers Marketplace
Publishers Weekly

A MEMBERSHIP TO ONE OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS:
PEN American Center
The Author’s Guild
Literary Freedom Project
Red Room For Authors
Gotham Writing Workshop
Writers Guild Foundation
Association of Writers & Writing Programs

YES, WRITERS REALLY DO LIKE BOOKS AND BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS….

PUBLISHING INDUSTRY GUIDES:
Guide to Literary Agents
2014 Writer’s Market
Novel & Short Story Writers Market
Writer’s Market Online: 10,000+ Book and Magazine Editors Who Buy What You Write
Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino2014 Writer's Market by Robert Lee BrewerNovel & Short Story Writer's Market  With Access Code  by Adria HaleyWriter's Market Online  10,000+ Book and Magazine Editors Who Buy What You Write by Kathryn S. Brogan

INDUSTRY STANDARD GUIDES:
The Elements of Style
Pocket Oxford English Dictionary
The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus
The Chicago Manual of Style/The Elements of Style
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.Pocket Oxford English Dictionary by Catherine SoanesWebster's New Pocket Thesaurus by Charlton LairdThe Chicago Manual of Style by The University of Chicago Press

MOTIVATIONAL/INSPIRATIONAL GUIDES:
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Ernest Hemingway on Writing
This Year You Write Your Novel
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Pencil Dancing: New Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit
On Writing  A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Ernest HemingwayThis Year You Write Your Novel by Walter MosleyStill Writing  The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani ShapiroBird by Bird  Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne LamottPencil Dancing  New Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit by Mari Messer

WRITING/BUSINESS GUIDES:
The Poets & Writers Guide to the Book Deal
Writing the Blockbuster Novel
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. How to Publish a Book
The Superior Person’s Book of Words
Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School
Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert ZuckermanAPE  Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. How to Publish a Book by Guy KawasakiThe Superior Person's Book of Words by Peter BowlerWriting Fiction  The Practical Guide from New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School by Alexander Steele

(For the last 12 weeks of 2014, in thanks for my phenomenal year of growth here at Negression and in my overall writing life, I am offering my Spirit of Writing practices here. I have taught these lessons and sessions in schools, libraries and community programs in Chicago and New York City. I will post new segments each Wednesday. Happy writing!)

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