Writing is one of our 50 most popular hobbies, so it’s no wonder a Google search for “writing” yields over 500,000,000 results. So what makes writing so popular, anyway? At its core, writing is a form of expression as well as an important way to record our history. The earliest forms of writing were found in tokens used to represent a record of land or livestock. As time went on, writing became a way to express emotion. Today, writing is used in everything from poetry to stop-signs, from marketing campaigns to great works of literature. Heck, I’m using writing right now to talk to you about writing. I don’t have to say a word; in fact, we don’t even have to be in the same room. Wonderful, isn’t it?
What Kind of Writing Do You Want to Do?
Before adding writing to your hobbies list, decide what kind of writing you want to do. Your choices are nearly limitless.
If you’re serious about writing or are considering a career in writing, you might want to consider enrolling in a writing class. If not, all you need is a pen or pencil and a piece of paper (or a computer, if you prefer typing). Here are some types of writing to consider and some resources to get you started:
There are all kinds of poetic forms–sonnets, haiku’s–there’s even free verse. If you don’t care about publishing, all that is needed is to write what you feel. If you do care about publishing, the best thing to do is read some poetry first. Here are some other poetry resources to get you started:
http://www.essortment.com/all/howtowritepoe_rjsm.htm – Basic course on how to write poetry
http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Poem – A wiki on how to write a poem
http://www.baymoon.com/~ariadne/how.to.write.books.htm – A list of books on how to write poetry
Novels, films, plays, and short stories–fiction writing is diverse and exciting. Go to your local bookstore and browse the fiction section for some ideas. Or you can check out these links:
http://www.scifidimensions.com/Mar02/howtowrite.htm – How to write fiction by Nick Pollotta
http://www.essortment.com/all/howtowritefic_rrch.htm – More on how to write fiction
http://www.fictionfactor.com/ – The online magazine for fiction writers
Nonfiction writing requires research and verification of facts. If you want to write nonfiction, check out these resources:
http://writingnonfiction.suite101.com/ – A great resource full of information on nonfiction writing
http://www.viacorp.com/how-to-write-non-fiction.html – How to write a nonfiction book
http://www.essortment.com/all/writingnonfict_reju.htm – 5 fast and easy steps to writing nonfiction
Journal writing is a great hobby because you can write about anything you want! Many people use journals to record their emotions and work through life problems. Here are some resources to get you started:
If you want to make money writing, business writing is the most sure-fire way. It includes technical writing, resume writing, copywriting, grant writing, plus more. Here are some resources for business writers:
http://www.businesswritingblog.com/ – An excellent blog about business writing
http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/faculty/kbrown/writing.html – A brief guide to business writing http://www.4hb.com/letters/ – A long list of sample business letters
This includes essays, reports, and research papers. Check out these resources for academic writing:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/student/ac_paper/what.shtml – Dartmouth’s guide to writing the academic paper
http://www.utoronto.ca/writing/advise.html – Advice on academic writing
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/documents/Overvu.html – An overview of the academic essay from Harvard University’s writing center
General Resources for Writers
http://creative-writing-mfa-handbook.blogspot.com/ – MFA blog about writing and writing programs
http://www.pw.org – Poets and Writers magazine: writing contests, connect with other writers, etc.
http://www.verlakay.com – Website for children’s writers and illustrators
www.duotrope.com/ – Free, searchable list of markets for fiction and poetry writers
If you have a favorite writing resource, leave a comment and we’ll add it to the list!