5 Blogs That Will Inspire You To Write More

NaNoWriMo Inspiration

It’s National Novel Writing Month, aka time to kick NaNoWriMo into high gear! And I’m constantly looking for writing inspiration. I rarely get writers block, but I definitely get a lack of motivation. Especially when there’s a new episode of Sleepy Hollow on my DVR, and it comes down to whether or not I could be watching that with some snacks, or writing another page…

Even though I LOVE me some TV and snacks, if I can get another page out, I always feel so much better. That being said, sometimes taking a little internet break to get inspired can be helpful for that. Here are the blogs I frequent when I need a good writing kick in the ass:

  1. Janet Fitch’s “The Word” series on her blog Paint It Black. Some of you may know Janet as an amazing novelist from her books White Oleander and Paint It Black, but she’s also an inspiring blogger. In her series “The Word,” she encourages readers to take a one word prompt, and write a few paragraphs from it. It doesn’t need to be long, or even edited, it just needs to be writing that flows from that one word. The other great thing is that she writes based off of that one word too. (Practice what you preach!)
  2. Pretty much anything on Prince Gomolvilas’ Bamboo Nation blog. Full disclosure: I’m obsessed with Prince. I took two classes with him when I got my masters at USC, and he absolutely changed the way I write. Prince is a playwright, but also the kind of person who just encourages you to get your story out. His blog has career advice, videos from his performances, and even a TED talk in there.
  3. The Mark On The Wall. Go here when you need to see upcoming writing contests. I’ve found that seeing an actual submission deadline is often enough to get me back to work.
  4. Poets & Writer’s Writing Prompts. This site, in general, is a great resource for writers, and filled with info on contests, publishers, and advice. But the writing prompts in particular can and have sparked me to run to my laptop and start jotting things down.
  5. Jeff Goins Writer. This blog is basically therapy for writers. If you’re feeling lost, or like you should just quit, this blog will give you a big hug and tell you everything will be OK. (And sometimes, we all need a little of that!

5 Perfect Books To Read This Fall

1. And Sons, by David Gilbert

and_sons_wtrI love reading books about novelists, and this beautiful work of fiction just so happens to open in New York in the fall. Winter coats abound, there’s plenty of fall foliage to be had, and a very Royal Tenenbaums-esque family drama unfolds. Totally worth the read.

2. The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green

tfios2E just tore through this book in three days. He wasn’t able to put it down, and he even LOL’d a few times, even though it’s a totally sad book about two kids who fall in love while dealing with cancer diagnoses. The page turner quality, coupled with the fact that it’s an easy read, make this an ideal book to pair with some hot cocoa, and finish over a weekend when it’s too cold to go outside.

3. Hallucinations, by Oliver Sacks

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If you’re looking for a great non-fiction read for fall, then I think you’ve got to get Hallucinations. I remember hearing about this book on NPR when I was driving home from Comic-Con, and listening as Dr. Sacks talked about hallucinations in a way that made them seem eerily common. Almost like everyone has them, but nobody talks about them.

After reading the book, I was a bit surprised to learn that I have, in fact, experienced hallucinations. (i.e. whenever I think I’ve heard my phone beep. That’s a hallucination, sorry folks! We all do it.) Rather than exploring something specific, like schizophrenia, this book covers the wide range of hallucinations that people experience, and discusses reasons for why they happen in the first place. For example, many elderly people experience hallucinations after the loss of their eyesight, because it’s the body’s way of compensating for that lost sense. The book really is fascinating, and will give you some cool talking points at all those holiday parties.

4. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

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Everyone is talking about how great this novel is, and you will be too after reading it. Much like The Fault In Our Stars, this is one of those books you won’t be able to put down and will finish one cold and wonderful weekend. It clocks in at 700 pages, but once you start reading about Theo Decker, a 13-year-old boy who’s just lost his mother, you truly won’t want to stop.

5. Blankets, by Craig Thompson

blankets-craig-thompsonThis was the first graphic novel I ever read, it’s 600 pages, and I loved each part of it. Blankets is a memoir by Craig Thompson, and it’s all about his first love. It’s epic, and tragic, and will make you feel like you’re in high school again, dealing with your first crush. It’s a great book to read as people are starting to go back to school, and chances are there will be some moments where you’ll tear up. (In a good way.)