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Are you thinking of becoming a writer but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’re thinking of starting a blog but you think no one will want to read it. Or you want to give up because your grammar skills aren’t the best.
I know how that goes. I’m pretty sure I know the thoughts that are going through your head.
“No one wants to hear what I have to say.”
“I have all these ideas but I don’t know where to start.”
“My grammar sucks, why did I even think I could be a writer anyway?”
Well, the good news is everyone can learn to write… and write well. It’s not about having innate talent. It’s a skill that you can learn, practice and improve.
But if you want to be a writer, you’ve got to start writing because guess what… writers WRITE!
Because I know how hard it is to get past the fears that can hold you back as a beginner writer, I want to recommend these 16 useful resources for beginner writers – the ones the helped me when I got started.
Because I got into writing when I started blogging, some of them will speak specifically to blogging but they are still good resources for other types of writing.
Problogger creator, Darren Rowse, started blogging in 2002. Over the years he started many other blogs and eventually created Problogger.net as a way to share his blogging tips to other bloggers (if you want to read more about Darren’s story you can do that here ).
Now, Problogger.com is one of the go-to places for information on how to start a blog, create good content, and make money from your efforts. A wealth of information can be found on the blog itself or you can buy the book on Amazon. Problogger also offers a free course to help you get started as well as the popular online course, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.
This blog has all types of resources that can be useful for beginner writers. I recommend that you also subscribe to the podcast for more tips and inspirational stories.
Smartblogger was created by Jon Morrow in 2012. Because Jon is a quadriplegic who can only move his eyes and lips, he uses speech recognition technology to do his writing. To date, he’s written over 5000 articles. When Jon started blogging, he went from living on Medicaid to living in Mexico within a month (read his story here).
Smartblogger’s aim is to provide bloggers with practical and strategic blogging advice along with the inspiration you’ll need when you inevitably become discouraged. At the time of writing, you can get a free 7-day course if you subscribe to the mailing list and you can also subscribe to the podcast Break Through the Noise, intended to help you find the people who need to hear from you.
SmartBlogger is a good resource for beginner writers because Jon’s story is inspirational and motivational. I mean, if he can do it anyone can.
Copyblogger is considered by some to be the “bible” of content marketing. It was founded by Brian Clark as a one-man blog. Brian had been building businesses with online content marketing for years prior to starting Copyblogger and decided to share what he knew with the rest of the world.
The Copyblogger site is a valuable resource hub with lots of content about blogging, writing and content marketing that can get you as a beginner writer well on your way. There is also a podcast that you can subscribe to.
WriteToDone was originally founded by Leo Babauta and is currently being run by editors Mary Jaksch (chief editor) and Laura Tong. WritetoDone is all about helping all kinds of writers to write better by learning new skills and practicing them.
You can find lots of useful writing resources for beginner writers here with articles related to fiction and non-fiction writing as well as tips for everyone on improving your writing and staying motivated. If as a beginner writer you’re not yet sure what type of writer you want to be, the resources here can help you to decide.
Jeff Goins is the best-selling author and speaker. His book, You Are a Writer, helped to boost my confidence as a newbie writer. You can find helpful information about writing and publishing books on his blog, goinswriter.com.
Jeff also runs a writing challenge called My 500 Words, which challenges you to write 500 words every day for 31 days. As a beginner writer, a writing challenge like this can help you to establish a good daily writing habit.
Chris Fox is a former iPhone developer turned author who has published over 20 novels. He is also the author of the non-fiction series, Write Faster, Write Smarter, which teaches writers how to duplicate his success.
Two of the biggest issues for beginner writers are finding the time to write and making sure that you write regularly. Chris’ book, Lifelong Writing Habit, is a good writing resource for a beginner writer because it helps you to establish your writing habit.
Another book in the series, 5000 Words per Hour, will help you find the time to write. It introduces the concept of writing sprints, which helps you to find pockets of time in your day that you can use for writing. It’s a very good resource for those of you who don’t think you have the time to write. And the good news is that 5000 Words per Hour is available for free at his site, chrisfoxwrites.com.
Joanna Penn is an author who shares lessons from her own writing journey on her blog, thecreativepenn.com. Her site has over 1000 articles on how to write, publish or market a book and how to make a living with your writing.
In her book, The Successful Author Mindset, she talks about the issues writers face during the creative process of writing. It tackles many of the issues that you will encounter as a beginner writer such as Imposter Syndrome (self-doubt), perfectionism, writer’s block, and procrastination.
How to Make Your Living with Writing is also a good read for those of you who want to know how to create different streams of income from your writing.
8. ANNE JANZER
One of the first books I read, when I started writing, was The Writer’s Process by Anne Janzer. It combines the proven practices of successful authors with cognitive science research about how our minds work. As a grammar geek and a perfectionist, it was hard for me to write without editing ( and I still have a problem with this from time to time).
In The Writer’s Process, Anne highlights the differences between our two personas, the Scribe and the Muse. The Scribe is the one who writes and the Muse is the creative one… but they can’t both work at the same time. When the Muse is in charge, you write. Just write, no editing. When you’re done writing the Scribe can then take over.
Anne Janzer, an award-winning author, business consultant, and blogger. She is the author of two other books on writing, Writing to Be Understood, and The Workplace Writer’s Process. You can also find many useful resources and valuable writing tips for beginner writers on her blog.
I’d also suggest that you subscribe to her blog. She’s known to give away her favorite books from time to time to newsletter subscribers.
Allison Fallon is a best-selling author and founder of FindYourVoice.com. At FindYourVoice.com, you can sign up for the Monday Motivation weekly writing prompt and have it sent to you by email every Monday morning.
Writer’s block is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for beginner writers. Writing prompts are a useful resource for getting your creative juices flowing again. There is also a podcast for those who want to write a book but don’t know where to start.
Udemy is a great place to find resources if you are a beginner writer. At the beginning of my journey, I found a few inexpensive courses that you might want to try.
NB: The courses on Udemy range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. If you’re interested in a course that costs more than $9.99 (the lowest price that Udemy allows), I suggest putting it on your wishlist and waiting for the price to drop.
10. Tyler Speegle
Tyler Speegle is a Christian, an author and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, The Blaze, and Relevant Magazine.
When I started blogging, I bought and completed two of his courses, 3-Step Writing System: Blogging and Writing Secrets and Viral Blogging 101: Blogging and Content Writing Masterclass, which I highly recommend if you’re a beginner writer.
I found Tyler’s teaching style to be easy to understand and easy to implement and that’s a plus if you’re starting out. He also has a free Udemy Course called Ultimate Blogging Roadmap: Blog + Content Writing Pro Tips.
11. Shani Raja
Shani Raja teaches professionals and top journalists on how to improve their writing. He is an Ex-Wall Street Journalist who has written for well-known news organizations like The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Financial Times and Bloomberg News.
Shani’s Udemy course Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery teaches you how to improve your writing by tapping into the power of four levels: narrative, paragraphs, sentences, and words. The course comes highly recommended and is well worth the price (wait to get it at $9.99).
Please remember, as a beginner writer you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of traditional journalism but you can use this resource if you want to go a little more in-depth.
12. Duncan Koerber
Dr. Duncan Koerber is a university professor who has taught writing and communications courses for the past 12 years to thousands of students.
I’ve completed two of his courses on Udemy and found them to be very helpful – 7 Lessons on Writing for Becoming a Standout Writer and How to Find and Correct Errors: The Proofreading Guide.
13. Clare Lynch
Clare Lynch is a Cambridge University Writing Tutor and Professional Copywriter. She won Udemy’s Award 2019 for Student Success. Her Udemy course, Writing with Confidence: Writing Beginner to Writing Pro, is a best-seller that helps you to find your voice as a blogger and business writer. You can also find valuable writing tips on her blog Good Copy Bad Copy and on her podcast.
Ok, so you may not be so good at all the grammar stuff but don’t let that stop you from telling your story. These days there are some excellent grammar resources for beginner writers including books and FREE online tools. Sorry, you really have no excuse for not writing.
14. GRAMMAR GIRL
Mignon Fogarty, is the creator of Grammar Girl and the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network. The Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing podcast, helps you to improve your grammar by providing short easy to remember grammar and punctuation tips.
15. Grammarly Writing Assistant
Grammarly is an online Writing Assistant that helps you to correct your grammar and punctuation as you write. It incorporates with your web browser as well as Word and Google Docs. The free version is all you need. You can sign up for it here. Grammarly is an invaluable resource if you’re a beginner writer who’s not confident in your grammar skills.
16. Hemingway Editor
Hemingway editors is another app that helps you to improve your writing. It highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors and gives you suggestions for improvement. It has a paid version that can be downloaded and installed to your computer but you can use it for free online at hemingwayapp.com.
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is a helpful guide to English grammar, punctuation, and usage with simple explanations and lots of examples. You can purchase the book but all of the information is available on the website along with quizzes for practice.
If you’re a beginner writer and you found this list of resources useful, please share. If you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments.