Friday, August 12, 2016

Spotlight: Writing Resources

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Happy Friday, friends.

I hope I find you inspired and ready to write today. I've been doing better, ramping up my writing time as I recover from an arm injury. It hasn't been easy and I've found that when I'm unable to write, it's far too easy to forget that I am, in fact, a writer.

In these times, I lean heavily on writing resources and work to build up my toolbox. If you're struggling for any reason, I have a few recommendations that just might help. Resources that I've drawn a lot of wisdom from of late.

DIY MFA by Gabriela Pereira

DIY MFA is the newest addition to my writing tool box. I'm about half way through and finding all sorts of tips and tricks to help me organize my daily writing life and my chaotic writer brain. The author's instruction is clear and direct and she shines a light on--perhaps--one of the hardest things for a writer to master: iteration. Here's a little more about Gabriela.

Gabriela Pereira is the Instigator of, the do-it-yourself alternative to a Masters degree in writing. While undercover as an MFA student, she invented a slew of writing tools of her own and developed a new, more effective way for writers to learn their craft. She dubbed it DIY MFA and now her mission is to share it with the world. Teaching at conferences and online, Gabriela has helped hundreds of writers get the MFA experience without going to school. She also hosts DIY MFA Radio, where she recreates the MFA speaker series in podcast form.

Writing Excuses 

Writing Excuses is a podcast I've been listening to for about a year or so. I'm obsessed and I genuinely think every writer should listen in. If you do, I promise, you'll feel smarter. One of my favorite things about the podcast is that each session is only 15 or 20 minutes long--bite-sized morsels of inspiration that never fail to get me writing. Here's a little more about Writing Excuses directly from their website:

Writing Excuses is a fast-paced, educational podcast for writers, by writers. It airs weekly, with new episodes appearing each Sunday evening at around 6pm Eastern Time. The show is hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells, with guests featured from time to time.

Our goal is to help our listeners become better writers.  Whether they write for fun or for profit, whether they’re new to the domain or old hands, we have something to offer. We love to write, and our listeners do, too.

Writing From The Senses by Laura Deutsh

I picked this book up a while back and I use it often. It's the kind of book that can be read out of order, selecting a sense and zeroing in on those chapters. The author has packed it full of inspiration so rich it drips off the page. With instruction and prompts to get you writing, this is a great resource to have at the ready. Here's the summary as found on Amazon:

The sensory details that infuse our everyday experience—the smell of a favorite dish cooking, the texture of a well-worn coat, hearing a song that reminds you of a person or a time in your life—can be used to add richness and spark to what we write. Whether you are a professional writer (or want to be one) or someone who enjoys just writing for your own personal fulfillment, Writing from the Senses will show you how to tap into an endless source of engaging material, using your senses as prompts. The exercises will stimulate you to develop stories, imagery, and details that will allow readers to see, taste, hear, smell, and feel that they're in the scene.

These are just three of the resources I've found helpful when I need a writerly pick-me-up and I'd recommend them to anyone. I am always looking to add to my toolbox and I'd love to hear about any resources you find useful or inspiring.

So, let's share! Leave me your recommendations below.



Steph will kick the battle off on Monday! Join us!


  1. I really like Word Hippo ( )
    Can't wait for the word war!!!

    1. Oooo! I've never heard of this one! Thank you.

  2. I hadn't really investigated Writing Excuses before, but then you mentioned that Brandon Sanderson hosts it, and now I'm sold. :D

    1. And he's great on this. Super helpful. Seriously, it's so good.

    2. And he's great on this. Super helpful. Seriously, it's so good.

    3. If you like Brandon Sanderson, he has a series of lectures that he is in the middle of right now being posted on YouTube. They are excellent for fantasy/sci-fi writers. It won't let me post a link, but you can find them by searching "Brandon Sanderson lectures." They are the ones put up by Camera Panda. There are eight so far, unless they've added another.