You’re staring at a blank sheet of paper: it stares back. It might be a leaf of notebook paper, the first page of a journal, or the digital blank sheet on a computer screen. You’re either taping your writing utensil, or watching that slim black line blink and blink and blink, waiting for you to type something great.
But the pressure is too much, and you feel like you don’t know enough. Or maybe your grammar is rusty, or you’re struggling with time management. . .
You just need some resources to get you going. Look no further than your local library. We have everything you might need. If you need personal guidance, there are also online writing classes through Universal Class, free with you library card. Choose from over 55 writing courses, including: “Creative Writing Workshop,” “Writing Basics 101,” “Journaling and Memoir Writing,” or “Humor Writing 101.”
And, of course, you can checkout past issues of “The Writer” magazine or the newest edition of the Writer’s Market, an almost 900-page resource guide for publishing and actually getting paid for it.
Plus, whatever you’re passionate about can be a source of inspiration, and doing more research enriches your writing. If you want to write historical fiction, read books about the time period! Historian and novelist Ian Mortimer writes “time-traveling” guides to old England that might prove useful, including the most recently published The time traveler’s guide to Restoration Britain : a handbook for visitors to the seventeenth century: 1660-1700.
If you have a busy schedule, but do have weekends, The Weekend Novelist by Robert Ray can help you persist in finishing a novel in a year. It offers fantastic advice taken from authors’ lives and is practical and firm about using time effectively. A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld offers similar advice about sticking to your writing efforts consistently.
Prolific author Ray Bradbury wrote a slim but useful book called Zen in the Art of Writing. Bradbury, who wrote Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes, offers advice, inspiration, practicality, dreams, and more. He tells you, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
And there’s always best-selling horror author Stephen King’s On writing : a memoir of the craft or Harold Evans’ newest book Do I Make Myself Clear? Why Writing Well Matters to help you hone and respect your craft.
Above all, write for yourself. Write a story or an essay or a poem for you. You can even just journal: it’s private, so don’t worry about it being too personal or boring. Maybe centuries in the future historians will be overjoyed at your recollections of breakfast in the early 2000s.
So go ahead. Pick up a pen or fire up your computer, or come in and use one of our public computers (there’s Microsoft Word on them), and take a whack at this writing thing. All of these resources and more are available through the Heartland Library Cooperative.