As a dedicated freelance writer who is actively working to practice and improve my writing through frequent writing of blog posts, I also keep my eyes focused on finding good information about the business of writing. Through my own research and interactions on social media sites, I have come across some gems of people that provide solid information.
In no particular order, here is my list of favorite folks to follow within the writing community. These folks consistently offer their readers top-notch information, advice, and resources on the craft, mechanics, and business side of writing as a profession. I highly recommend to any freelance writer who is serious about his writing to start following and engaging with these folks and learning from the pros.
Jane Friedman – Robot Professor of the Information Age
Jane Friedman, based in the United States in Virginia, is about as robotic as they come. I like starting off this list of sources with a powerhouse because it will get freelance writers excited and motivated to take action. And trust me, you will be motivated, if not entranced into a zone of innovative learning each and every time you read some writing advice from Jane.
Jane writes frequently that the biggest question she gets from her readers, fans, subscribers, and colleagues is how she manages to spend so much time online and still live life to its fullest. In a deadpan response given in a way that only Jane Friedman can give, she quips “because I can.”
I consider Jane to be the robot of the writing world because of the speed, agility, and precision with which she dispenses writing advice. She tweets, comments on Facebook, hangs out in Google+, and posts blog posts at record speeds, dizzying even the social media experts themselves whose job it is to build buzz around people and concepts. Jane not only dispenses a LOT of advice, but does it with a college-view approach of analysis, hypothesis, and theory. With Jane, there are few clear answers, but much to explore, digest, and think about.
There is always a better way to publish books, write nonfiction, and engage with people on social media, and Jane Friedman is just the person who will help you unravel the mysteries, but then leave the results for you to apply within your own life. Read more about Jane’s complex and intriguing approach to writing at her website, Jane Friedman.
Jonathan Gunson – Writer with Flowery Approach
Jonathan Gunson, based in New Zealand, is a writer, blogger, and book author who has successfully written several books. He has recently branched out into the publishing field and effortlessly displays his knowledge of e-publishing versus traditional publishing in all social media sites.
While I really like the value of information that Jonathan provides, I most appreciate Jonathan as a person. Unlike other so-called bloggers who are known as giants in the field, Jonathan does not have a big head about his success in writing. He never uses braggadocio to build himself up and make himself appear as if he were God, like the other big guns do.
Jonathan is quite the opposite. He is humble and sweet and flowery and reminds me so much of interior designer Michael Moloney, who is best known for his work on the television show Extreme Makeover. Jonathan, who is pretty popular and has close more than 90k followers on Twitter, does another incredible thing that others fail at doing – he actually responds to tweets, Facebook mentions, and Google+ comments! That is way more than what I could say about most people I come across!
Learn more about Jonathan’s insightful writing and publishing advice at his new Bestseller Labs website.
Joanna Penn – Writer Turns Failures into Learning
Joanna Penn, based in England, is a writer and book author who specializes in writing within an intriguing cult genre known as religious thrillers. Her books, Prophecy and Pentecost have been widely read and enjoyed by her diverse fans across the globe.
I personally like Joanna because of the vast wealth of information she provides on the marketing aspects of writing. Joanna speaks frequently and candidly about her own experiences having e-published her first novel in 2008 and the things that ruined her chances for success. Having learned from those experiences, Joanna set out on a mission to start learning the book marketing ropes on her own in order to put them into practice in her own career as a book author. Subsequently, she put that advice out there to the public, by building up a respectable repertoire of industry-specific information on her blog.
Whatever Joanna writes about, I know it’s gold. I never question what she writes because she speaks about it with such flair and fortitude. Learn more about Joanna’s pure advice at her Creative Penn website.
Robert Lee Brewer – Effective Writer with Simple Language
Robert Lee Brewer, based in the United States in Georgia, is a writer, blogger, poet, and about a million other things. His primary job is to edit the Writer’s Digest Writer’s Market series of books, but that doesn’t stop Robert from expanding his list of work and accomplishments.
Robert famously began his pilot program that challenged writers to build their platforms on social media in April 2012. Those single efforts spawned into extraordinarily influential breakout groups whose members have collaborated on a website of their own.
Robert provides writing advice like many others, but his style stands apart. Robert writes simply using short sentences and basic words. Because Robert writes in a non-complicated, easy-to-digest manner, his information is more prominent and clear. There is no guessing what Robert intended to say. I like this approach, as it is so different than my own vocabulary-rich writing, because it makes my learning of the writing business that much easier.
The straightforward approach to writing and dispensing of advice on how to build one’s online presence as a writer using social media platforms is what I love best about Robert’s style. Learn more about his various roles on his My Name is Not Bob website.
Nina Amir – Writer with Innovative Blogging Idea
Nina Amir, based in the United States in California, is a career coach, blogger, and book author. I’ve written a lot about Nina Amir in large part because of her book, “How to Blog a Book” and its impact on my own blogging and writing. Nina is a nice blend of Jonathan Gunson and Robert Lee Brewer.
She writes about basics in the fields of writing and publishing with a simple style that makes her easily approachable. Nina is so approachable that she even offers free 15-minute coaching sessions to all who care to take advantage of her generous offer.
Quite the ambitious writer, Nina blogs her way across diverse subject areas, including the life of a male dancer, spiritual ideas to improve the quality of your life, a challenge to motivate writers to write nonfiction year-round, and my personal favorite, detailed information describing the innovative concept of blogging a book.
Nina is not nearly satisfied just blogging her way through multiple blog posts and calling it a day. She pushes herself and her own career as intensely as she pushes her audience. Adding to her list of accomplishments, Nina is credited with speaking engagements, book publishing and promotion, and writing for other smaller publications. I think, based on Nina’s Linked-In profile, that she also has a day job.
I admire Nina’s tenacity to stay relevant in social media by blogging and posting updates constantly. I always learn something from Nina. Sometimes, when I am physically tired and just don’t feel like writing, I happen to get a little quote or a picture or a snippet of something inspirational from Nina. And that is exactly the encouragement I need to keep going, keep pushing, continue running, even though my writer’s legs are turning into jello.
Carol Tice – Writer who is Tough as Nails
Carol Tice, based in the United States in Washington state, is a freelance writer and writing coach. Carol is the perfect way to close out my list of trusted sources for writers as the powerhouse bookend to Jane Friedman. If you’ve ever heard of an experienced sailor nicknamed salty dog for mastering the rough seas, that is a tame comparison to the queen of salt herself, Carol Tice.
Carol is a heavy-hitter who refuses to touch the concept of mincing words with a 10-foot pole. What you get with her is hard-core writing advice that you are best advised to take, lest you wish to be called a fool, an idiot, or worse. Carol is not shy about letting her readers know exactly what she thinks of freelance writers whose work styles don’t jive with hers. Carol’s way is superior, and by George, she isn’t afraid to let you know it!
I have to say that out of all the big-name writers and bloggers I’ve featured in this blog post, Carol Tice is the one whose style struck me as the most jarring. In fact, I was so off-put by Carol’s particular brand of in-your-face writing advice, that I simply couldn’t stand to read her blog posts. It didn’t matter what she had to say. Knowing how obnoxious her style sat with me was enough to make me dismiss her…for a while.
I let Carol’s e-newsletters pile up in my in-box and routinely deleted them. I did not unsubscribe because I figured I’d one day give her another chance to prove her writing advice chops. Boy, I am so glad I did that. Today, I read Carol Tice’s e-newsletters and blog posts as much as time permits. I can’t always read her pearls of wisdom, but when I do, I tend to agree completely with her advice.
Carol’s personality has not changed during my sabbatical from her e-newsletters, but my tolerance and acceptance of her style has changed. I now know that I must wade past the wall of attitude to get to the heart of what she’s trying to preach to her readers – that to turn oneself into a serious writer, one must be willing to work hard to make that happen. A good lesson to learn, even if it is delivered with a salty tongue.
Be forewarned about Carol Tice’s tough style, but then pay close attention to some solid writing tips. She knows what she’s talking about. Subscribe to Carol’s e-newsletter at her website.
If you have enjoyed this list of sources I trust within the writing community, please let me know in the comments section below. If you have other sources you trust, let me know as well!