Resources for Writers
For years I dreamt of being a published author, but had no idea where or how to turn that fantasy into something real. I am still new at this, but I thought I’d share some resources that have been helpful for me.
Books for Inspiration
The Artists Way by Julia Cameron: This book has literally changed my life, multiple times – igniting ideas that I never imagined I could bring to fruition. It’s a 12 week creativity course which you can do on your own, but I highly recommend getting a small group together and journeying together.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: I DO believe that stories have an energy and life force all their own. I liken it to what Khalil Gibran says about children – they come through you but not from you. Big Magic weaves together stories of synchronicity with a brain massage to get you reconnected to the magical feeling that comes with feeling like you’re plugged in to the realm of writing. Gilbert reminds us of how to honor these stories, invite them in help them find a home upon the page.
The Gift by Hafez: My heart flutters when I open up to a random page of poetry find the perfect answer to the questions in my heart. When I’m feeling lost, this is my go to guide that helps me recalibrate my inner spirit compass. Poetry and quotations are like vitamins for me. A writer friend encouraged me to put up favorite quotes, poems and prayers where I can see them everyday.
For Everyone: By Jason Reynolds. Writers block is real and it can feel like you are swimming through a swamp sometimes. Doubt then comes to visit, and starts to buzz around like a musquito in the night. This book in verse by Jason keeps it real, and raw – dreaming can be scary, and the flame within can feel like it has totally fizzled out. Jason is a rekindler though, and once his words caress your spirit your artists self will reignite.
Storyteller Academy – Author/Illustrator Arree Chung is a generous creative artists who often offers quality art and drawing classes to youth for free online. He literally saved thousands of families from going insane with the art classes he started offering when COVID-19 first came to the U.S. He also has an online institute – Story Teller Academy where you can take classes ranging from How to Write a Picture Book Manuscript, How to Pitch to An Agent, and many other topics. Check it out!
Society for Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators – I went to my first conference in 2019 and not only felt inspired but was in awe of how friendly, kind and helpful everyone was. They offer workshops at the conferences, organize informative, inspiring panels. It’s also a great way to meet a writing buddy or critique group.
We Need Diverse Books: Check out a variety of resources including opportunities for mentorship, bookslists, grant information, and links to useful articles on writing tips and tools.
The Wilmette Institute: This spiritually rooted higher education institute offers a wide variety of courses and webinars ranging from writing to racial justice issues. My first draft of Room for Everyone was written for one of their arts based classes that invited writers to think about ways to approach their writing from a spiritual perspective.
I’m new at this and learning a lot but it’s been really helpful to visit the websites of veteran authors who have a lot of practical advice to share with those who are newcomers to the industry.
Ruth Forman: If you ever have the chance to take a class with Ruth, please do. It will change you. She is not just a powerhouse wordsmith poetess, but also an incredibly, caring, and thoughtful teacher. Check out her website to learn about her beautiful books as well as for resources on workshops and writing residencies.
Josh Funk: Not only is he a super fun writer, his website is a carnival of fabulous AND practical inspiration and advice. In his resources for writers he has a writers guide with 12 lessons on everything ranging from how to write a query letter to editing approaches.