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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cure for "Writer's Block"

Photo by Vince Kusters


One of the best writerly resources I know of is Poets & Writers magazine. Are you familiar with it? Every issue is packed with links to contests, literary news, writer recommendations, how-to articles, classifieds and such. Bonus: the shorter online version is easy to read and navigate if you prefer getting your info fix at the computer.

The August 4th zine says P&W was "Founded in 1970, it is the nation's largest nonprofit literary organization for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers." Each time I browse P&W or look over the contest listings, I'm inspired. I think, hey dummy, why don't you get a subscription?

So today I'm doing just that. If you're searching for something that will throw lighter fluid on your writing fire, look over P&W's newest contest submissions calendar and/or its tools for writers.

What's your favorite writer magazine, journal or zine? How do you jump start your writing motivation when a blank screen or notebook stares back at you?

23 comments:

Scott said...

So many questions, so early in the morning??? Geesh!

I keep meaning to subscribe . . . I just don't. Why? Because the magazines stack up and up and up and up in my to-do list. I just never seem to find the time. My cooking magazines are bad enough - at least I scan through those and guinea pig on Frank. : )

My normal jump start is music. If I'm in the middle of The Void - no thoughts, no desire, nada about writing - then I flip on some music and write something about each song I hear. It normally motivates me to get back to my other writing!

S

Angie Ledbetter said...

S: I subscribed because I think I can keep up with ONE magazine. Won't order others because then I get tower stacks surrounding me in office. Love the musical inspiration. How's the ms coming along?

Suzanne said...

Love love love Poet's And Writers.

Mandy said...

Thank you Angie. I needed this today. I'm having a very blah kind of morning and I can't find my wit or humor. I think it's time for me to give up my guilty pleasure (People magazine subscription) for something more worthwhile, like this magazine you speak of. I'm going to look into it right now. Thank you dear Angie, my muse for today. You may have just saved me from complete boredom with myself today. And I mean that sincerely! :-)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Suzanne - why am I not surprised? :)

Mandy - Attagirl! Remember: BIC/FOK (Butt in Chair/Fingers on Keyboard).

Marguerite said...

Whenever I need motivation to write, I get in my car and drive around town until something catches my fancy. It can be a place, a person, or a thing. Then I start taking pictures and voila, the story evolves. Thanks for the tools for writers link. Looks great!

Scott said...

Angie - I'm glad you explained what BIC/FOK meant, because I was about to be offended. : )

The MS is progressing now that I'm back in the swing of things.

S

Angie Ledbetter said...

A change of scenery and emersing self in the world is a good jump starter, Marguerite. Glad we live in a place with so much stimuli! :)

LOL Scott. Great news about your writing!

B.J. Anderson said...

My best way to get through writer's block is to brainstorm madly on a piece of paper. I write down all the obvious things I could do and then go deeper into the more original thoughts. Most of the time it works, but there are other times when I just can't get past the obvious stuff. That's when I put it away for awhile and break out the alcohol.

The Peach Tart said...

I had let my subscription lapse. Thanks for the reminder and for the contest links.

Sharla said...

Think I'll give that one a shot as well. My fave is Writers Digest magazine. I get so excited when it comes, my husband laughs and says most women get giddy over Redbook. Not his wife!!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Subscribed for years to Poets and Writers. Also, have had a few essays published due to the calls for submissions in the back. Also helps me dream about conferences and writer retreats, MFAs, and to keep up with a world of good writers.

Jody Hedlund said...

I haven't actually subscribed to a writerly magazine yet. I'm finding so much online and in the books, that I'm not sure if it would actually be useful or not?

Angie Ledbetter said...

LOL B.J. Sounds like a good plan if it works for you! :)

You're welcome, The Peach Tart.

Sharla - hubby should be glad you're a writerly kinda woman. *smile*

Thanks for the backup, Midlife. :)

Jody - browse the online issue. Whole 'nother world of good info available!

Sandra Leigh said...

Timing is everything, Angie. I just subscribed to Rattle, so Poets and Writers will have to wait in line until next month - but I'll try to remember then. Meanwhile, I've bookmarked their site and signed up for the newsletter. Thanks for the heads-up, Angie.

Stephanie Faris said...

I've never read that magazine but it sounds like it's a valuable resource. Especially the contests section! I have a Novel and Short Story Writer's Market which has been invaluable to me in finding agents.

DebraLSchubert said...

Thanks for the link, Angie. You're always good for the inside skinny. (Do I sound like I'm 150?)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I subscribe to Writers Digest and The Writer. And I have to admit to reading other writing magazines,like Poets and Writers, while enjoying a cup of tea at book stores.

Writer's block is a challenge that I tackle by getting out my notebook and writing the first word that comes to mind, the next, etc. and before you know it the muse arrives and works most of it into a story!

Dorothy said...

Yep, I subscribe to Writers & Poets, Writers Digest, and The Writers Magazine. And you know what? They pile up and collect dust. After that they go onto the bookshelf in a sleeve for magazines. I love them all, but when I'm on a project I usually don't sit down and go through them all. I think they are the best sources we can have as a writer, though. I'm always thining I'll get back to them...and will, someday. I don't throw them out.

So far I haven't had the writers block so bad that it keeps me from writing. What I do have is procrastination to putting my fingers on the keyboard.

Jessica said...

I read the RWA magazine, but that's it. Between blogging, reading fiction and writing, I don't have time for magazines. Maybe someday... Thanks for the links!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Thanks, Angie!

Terresa said...

Great links and suggestions here! (I'm taking notes!)

BJW said...

When I need a boost I read Gumbo Writer. Then things seem better!

: )

And if that really doesn't work, I read Not For Robots over at Laini Taylor's blog. I know I just said two blogs, not the other stuff. But what the heck.

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