The Write Practice

The Online Writing Workbook

Writers Read: Top Five Links + A Writing Feast

Mate UgrinWriters are always readers, as Paul Theroux once said. Writers read books, but they also read music and video and nature and people. Today I’m going to give you five links to excellent content around the web, but only three of them contain written words.

Here we go:

You Need to Be (Better Than) a Jerk I’m honored to reveal my first guest blog on ProBlogger. ProBlogger grabs the spot for top website about blogging in the world with over 320,000 subscribers. Check it out.

You Are My Sunshine by the Civil Wars I love the haunting beauty of the Civil Wars’ harmonies and the revival-with-a-twist of a classic lullaby. I had this poetry professor once, Paul Willis, who told us to capture the same energy in our poetry as the nursery rhymes like “Ring Around the Rosey” (which, like “You Are My Sunshine,” has a very dark history—the black plague).

Nursery rhymes have been passed down person-to-person for hundreds of years. If you can bottle something of them, your writing might be able to last that long, too.

How to Get Published in a Magazine Jeff Goins gives a great summary of the way to go about writing for magazines. He covers, first, why you’d want to have your writing published in a magazine (for the money, duh), and the steps to get there. If you haven’t heard of freelance writing, this is how it’s done. Quick rundown: think of a topic you want to write about, create a list of magazines who publish articles on that topic, write a query letter, wait.

What’s a query letter? I guess you’ll have to read the article you little newb.

Better, Faster, Stronger: Tim Ferriss, the “self-help guru we deserve” Confession: I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with Tim Ferriss. I love how he simplifies each task to its most basic components, and yet I’m extremely jealous of how good he is at everything, especially tango dancing.

Besides the fact that Tim is fascinating—and that he probably has some ideas that would help you be a better, more productive writer—the profile would be worth it just for Ms. Mead’s wonderful one-liner, “Every generation gets the self-help guru that it deserves.”

Photography by Mate Ugrin I like Mate Ugrin’s photography because it captures wonder. Do you ever feel wonder? Or has that part of the child been beaten out of you? In the end, the antidote to being a jerk, as I talked about in that ProBlogger article, is just that: wonder. A thankfulness that you are alive. I think much of art is based on the idea that joy is contagious.

An OFFER: If you like amazing food and great writing, join us for our second monthly writing feast on Tuesday, September 6. We’ll meeting in Gainesville, GA about an hour north of Atlanta. Message me on Twitter (@joebunting) for more info.

PRACTICE

Can you capture joy in words? Let’s give it a try.

Write about your surroundings but do it with wonder. If you want, you can write a poem and rhyme your words like a lullaby. Write for fifteen minutes, then post your practice in the comments.

Shine on, you crazy diamond!

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

Join the Community!

If this post helped you improve at the craft, consider subscribing. It’s fast, free, and you’ll make our day:

You’ll also get a free copy of our eBook 14 Prompts.

  • Diana Trautwein

    Wow, what a surprise to read Paul Willis’ name here! Great guy, wonderful teacher, fabulous & thoughtful poet and author – and a loving friend, too. That means you were at Westmont, most likely – and I worked just down the hill from there for 14 years, at Montecito Covenant as Associate Pastor. I’m loving and appreciating your blog – and I subscribe, too. So, thank you for your work.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I was indeed at Westmont, and when I befriended you on Twitter, I was going to ask you whether it was MCC. Strange and small world.

      I’m so happy you’re enjoying the blog. How did you find it?

  • Diana Trautwein

    Wow, what a surprise to read Paul Willis’ name here! Great guy, wonderful teacher, fabulous & thoughtful poet and author – and a loving friend, too. That means you were at Westmont, most likely – and I worked just down the hill from there for 14 years, at Montecito Covenant as Associate Pastor. I’m loving and appreciating your blog – and I subscribe, too. So, thank you for your work.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I was indeed at Westmont, and when I befriended you on Twitter, I was going to ask you whether it was MCC. Strange and small world.

      I’m so happy you’re enjoying the blog. How did you find it?

  • soulstops

    Found your great site via Jeff Goins… here is my practice (unedited except for one corrected typo)…tried to rhyme in the beginning and then I lost it…delaying the unveil…always nerve-racking, the first-time….

    I’m sitting here at our kitchen table
    covered with blue like a fable
    and I’m looking out at our backyard green
    and wondering if I can get it clean
    or will the dog’s poop on the patio make it look mean
    but maybe the rain will make it regain its sheen.
    I turn around to look at our dog
    whose eyes see only fog
    while his ears hear sounds like a bog
    or really not at all,
    which is quite convenient as he doesn’t like to be an obedient dog,
    why be a cooperative cog,
    in our home, sweet home
    when he can ignore my request to come,
    thank you very much,
    as he likes to go to lunch,
    and do whatever he pleases,
    without caring if he sneezes
    all over my clean bathrobe,
    which is more brown than white
    at certain places where he likes to rub
    and leave his doggy eye boogers,
    and various other secretions…
    so lovely, living with an old dog…
    stinky, incontinent at times, and
    unaware that he is about to poop,
    sorry to keep talking about having to scoop,
    but it is of great concern lately,
    because as much as I hate poop on the patio,
    it is better than when it is in the house,
    as it makes me feel like a louse
    when I yell when I find it in the house,
    or because I couldn’t get him out of the house,
    fast enough and like a slow-motion bad movie,
    I see the brown exiting and landing on my nice
    clean floor,
    which is a chore, extra now
    to clean and sanitize again, but
    thank God we have wood floors and he
    when he did the dirty deeds on the rug,
    let’s just say I was glad it was solid.
    If you have ever lived with an aging dog
    you can relate.
    Despite all my groaning about his messes,
    I will miss our dear dog when he departs
    as he was our first child, and he has
    been with us for over 13 years.
    sigh…sniffle…I will not cry…not yet…
    I rub his ears, look at his white face,
    all the brown on his left side gone,
    so faded is he, that my friend Peg
    said he looks like an old man –
    to which I add, a distinguished-looking
    old man- one that has been
    well-loved. After all, everyone in our family
    has composed various songs for him…
    altered lyrics to Elvis songs and various
    hit tunes just because we love him.

    [If you read all of this…THANK YOU!]

  • soulstops

    Found your great site via Jeff Goins… here is my practice (unedited except for one corrected typo)…tried to rhyme in the beginning and then I lost it…delaying the unveil…always nerve-racking, the first-time….

    I’m sitting here at our kitchen table
    covered with blue like a fable
    and I’m looking out at our backyard green
    and wondering if I can get it clean
    or will the dog’s poop on the patio make it look mean
    but maybe the rain will make it regain its sheen.
    I turn around to look at our dog
    whose eyes see only fog
    while his ears hear sounds like a bog
    or really not at all,
    which is quite convenient as he doesn’t like to be an obedient dog,
    why be a cooperative cog,
    in our home, sweet home
    when he can ignore my request to come,
    thank you very much,
    as he likes to go to lunch,
    and do whatever he pleases,
    without caring if he sneezes
    all over my clean bathrobe,
    which is more brown than white
    at certain places where he likes to rub
    and leave his doggy eye boogers,
    and various other secretions…
    so lovely, living with an old dog…
    stinky, incontinent at times, and
    unaware that he is about to poop,
    sorry to keep talking about having to scoop,
    but it is of great concern lately,
    because as much as I hate poop on the patio,
    it is better than when it is in the house,
    as it makes me feel like a louse
    when I yell when I find it in the house,
    or because I couldn’t get him out of the house,
    fast enough and like a slow-motion bad movie,
    I see the brown exiting and landing on my nice
    clean floor,
    which is a chore, extra now
    to clean and sanitize again, but
    thank God we have wood floors and he
    when he did the dirty deeds on the rug,
    let’s just say I was glad it was solid.
    If you have ever lived with an aging dog
    you can relate.
    Despite all my groaning about his messes,
    I will miss our dear dog when he departs
    as he was our first child, and he has
    been with us for over 13 years.
    sigh…sniffle…I will not cry…not yet…
    I rub his ears, look at his white face,
    all the brown on his left side gone,
    so faded is he, that my friend Peg
    said he looks like an old man –
    to which I add, a distinguished-looking
    old man- one that has been
    well-loved. After all, everyone in our family
    has composed various songs for him…
    altered lyrics to Elvis songs and various
    hit tunes just because we love him.

    [If you read all of this…THANK YOU!]

  • http://estrelaimene.blogspot.com Estrela

    4 walls, a door, one wardrobe, a table, I removed the chair last week and a bed.
    This is my sanctuary, my place of escape from the world.
    This is the place I run to when I have a bad day, one simple act of closing the door has me feeling secure.
    Where I play music so loud I should be deaf by now
    And practice my dance moves bumping into furniture
    I am safe here, free.

    Pink, red and white, colours so prominent
    you’d never guess there are days that the darkness so thick consumes this place.
    Black curtains, lights out, door shut and windows bolted.

    This place, my room, is, by definition, me.
    Effortlessly changing to reflect my moods.
    It captures my very essence
    I dream here, write my plan in that journal underneath my pillow

    Safe, peaceful and cluttered
    Books fill the space on the floor,table underneath the bed and on top of the cupboard
    Like they do my head.
    Law Journals, poetry, fairly tales, novels
    I’m never moving, its rent free!
    This room may be in my parents’ house
    Its still my space