If you want to be an excellent writer, you must deal with such boring things as grammar and logical flow of thoughts. These are skills that are taught - you are not born with them. You need some formal training in order to acquire these skills. Sometimes when you are going under formal training to become a writer, you might feel that what you learn is useless, or even worse - harmful. Important to know is that while your tutors might be trying to break down your individual writing style as well as teaching you grammar, document structure, how to write for a particular genre and other technicalities, it is important stuff to know and very much so useful. So, your task should be to move ahead (i.e. learn new things) without going backwards (i.e. losing your individual style).
Writing is a lonely profession. Some might be happy when they don't have to communicate with other people but isolation has its price. This is why it is important to mingle with other writers - both to break away from the loneliness and to pick up new things. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to do so - i.e. forums, newsgroups, etc. There are hence many useful resources available for writers but, unfortunately, there are also many resources that are just a waste of time. If you don't want to spend hours with poor resources such as "How to Write a Bestseller in 2 Hours or Less" and "How to Write a Billion Dollar Novel", you need to know where to look for quality information. We will here present articles and sites you can visit and read up on in order to get inspired and boost your writing skills.
"On Writing" by Stephen King
There is no doubt that one of the best ways to get inspiration and boost your writing skills is by reading the works of well-known masters of the written word. Stephen King is, as you all know, a very popular and talented author and his book "On Writing" is considered to be one of the best books you can read about writing and its intricacies. This book is simply a must-read!
20 Tips for Writing for the Web
The Web is probably the largest marketplace for writers. Newspapers and magazines are still relatively popular but the trend is that these forms of media, that have existed for decades, will move from the traditional paper to online publishing. While newspapers and magazines generally haven't changed their requirements regarding the writing, many ezines are different when it comes to the style and this is perhaps something they should keep in mind.
Writing for the Web
In addition to the tips in the previous resource, another great place with information on how to write for the Web is the site of usability by Guru Jacob Nielsen. The section about Web writing has tons of timeless information about what you should do and what you shouldn't do when you write for the Web. Some of the articles in this section might look quite technical (you will not understand them completely if you have no idea about web technologies) but if you want to write for the Web, you do need to know at least the basics of HTML and a couple other web technologies that are in use today.
Twenty Grammatical Sore Points
Grammar is one of those things that writers generally hate because it is not really the most creative part of writing. However, if you don't want your articles to demonstrate how ignorant a writer can be, you need to take the time and master grammar (I still have to work on this - I know). It is true that usually there is an editor and a proof-reader, who fix the most blatant mistakes the editor makes but this is not an excuse to avoid the grammar lessons.
Accentuate Writers Forum
The Writinghood site is one of the places where you can mingle with other authors. One more great place for these types of discussions is the Accentuate Writers forum. The writers' community is pretty active and here you can discuss problems of all kinds with fellow writers. Take a look at all the sections of the site because there is a lot you can learn from them. One of the sections that deserve special attention is the Writing Workshop section. In this section you can ask all kinds of writing-related questions and get the opinions of other writers about your writing.
Must Reads in Literature
You can't become a good writer if you are not a good reader. While not even literature graduates can claim to have read all the essential books that have been published throughout the centuries, there are some books every writer must have read. Classical literature is something that every writer should be familiar with and this is why it's is a good thingh trying to read as many classical books as possible.
Here is a good list of important classical books for you to start with. Reading classics is especially important if you plan to write fiction but even if you plan to be a sports reporter or a succesful blogger, the books in this list will certainly do you no harm.
101 Niches to Write About
Sometimes when you don't have writing assignments, you might think that writing is not the right profession for you. These thoughts might pop up at times but it is more probable that you simply are not looking for work in the right places.
On the other hand, it is true that there are topics that aren't as "popular" as other. For instance, if you want to write about the eating habits of wild lions in Sahara, you will most probably not be overwhelmed with work. This is why it is important to know the topics (and niches) that are in demand. This list of niches is one of the most detailed lists of topics that are hot right now and therefore are worth writing about - at least if you're aim is to attract a lot of readers.