A few months ago I posted about my decision to read writing magazines on my lunch break on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh blog.
It’s been a successful exercise.
I’ve found new markets to which I can submit thanks to listings in the back of Poets & Writers and The Writer. I’m enjoying the writerly advice column “Funny You Should Ask” in Writer’s Digest. And I’ve found about two billion new books to read thanks to Publisher’s Weekly (you’ll hear about some in future posts, for sure).
I’ve also found that giving myself twenty minutes each day to learn more about the craft of writing, fellow writers, and the literary community (in addition to my thirty-minutes-a-day writing regimen) keeps me motivated and excited about putting words on the page.
For awhile I tried reading The New York Review of Books, but none of the books they featured piqued my interest in the slightest. They were all dry, academic-sounding nonfiction titles–which is cool and all, but not my scene.
I did want more than one source of book reviews, though, so I subscribed to Kirkus’s enewsletter, and have been enjoying the down and dirty “skip it,” “borrow it,” and “buy it” reviews they do of current best sellers. Even if I don’t plan on reading most of these books, it’s good to have a pulse on the market.
This all fits into my wider goal of connecting with the literary community in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. Being around other writers and even just readers can spark new ideas, help you work through a problem you’re dealing with in your work-in-progress, and recharge your mental and emotional batteries.
How do you stay in touch with your community?