Hey, everybody. Lisa speaking.
Us writers are a curious bunch, meaning we peruse, browse and nose around a lot. With the invention of the internet, we've turned a lot of our curiosity global: online writing communities, blogs, sites for research, ie, geography, psychology, astronomy and almost all things ending in y, Twitter, Facebook, contests (normally blogs as well but deserves a slot by itself), and Youtube (also research, shshsh, I'm still in denial).
What's my point, you ask. I want to know where you spend your time. Why do you spend time there? Do you spend too much time there or is every second well-spent? Have a favorite blog/most informative blog you visit? Plug it.
WHY? you're still asking. Because we/you might want to go there too. Let's share sites. Sharing is caring. :)
I'll start. I spend a lot of time on a writing community called Hexbound. Regular members read and review your work. Trained editors read entire books (sometimes five a month) and review them. I do something called word wars on the threads which pushed me to write two books in six weeks. This is also a great site to garner readers of your genre and make connections with fellow authors. I love this site obviously. Any second I spend on there is a second well spent. And Twitter. Sometimes I spend a lot of time on Twitter. It comes by phases. This is good for meeting fellow authors and readers in your genre, though not as good for finding "fans" as Hexbound for me. One of the blogs I visit regularly is The Kill Zone. This is a site where a group of published authors commiserate and discuss writing. They are mostly thriller, mystery and horror writers, but a lot of what they have to offer goes across the board for genres, and they've been in the business a really long time. Somewhere I spend too much time and a lot of that time isn't productive is Youtube. I wish I could steal back some of the time that place has stole from me. But it's so entertaining!
What about you? Tell us what's on your computer screen a lot of the time...or too much of the time.
Karlie: Without a doubt, Hexbound takes up huge amounts of my time on the net. I echo everything you said about it, Lisa! It's the greatest website on the planet.
I also stalk twitter, more than is healthy. ;) Writer's Digest is an awesome resource, and the NaNo forums get a lot of my attention. I have been known to read fan fiction. *hangs head in shame*.
Caitlin: Karlie, you should read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, it definitely had me thinking differently about fan fiction. As for sites that take up a lot of my time, Twitter is probably the worst offender. I'll go on there just to check one itsy bitsy thing and 45 minutes later I'm still tweeting... whoops! I read Writer Unboxed pretty regularly. I also really like flash fiction. The Wigleaf top 50 is a great place to start, but I also read Smokelong Quarterly almost every week.
Dan: Hello, I'm the new guy at Trouble the Write Way. For querying authors, I recommend the author blogs of Brenda Drake, Michelle Hauck, and Amy Trueblood. They're all prolific bloggers and run regular pitching contests designed to help new authors find an agent. For general querying and submissions advice, I highly recommend the Author! Author! blog by Anne Mini; her posts are LONG, but full of good information. As for author communities, I love the online writers workshop at critters.org. Members agree to critique one piece of short fiction per week, and in return get to submit their own stories into the queue. There's also a mechanism for workshopping novels a couple of chapters at a time.