Ten Best Things

Wendy Lawton


Blogger: Wendy Lawton

Too often we talk about how tough the writing world is. Today let me turn the tables and talk about the best things about being a writer today in 2018.

The Ten Best Things About Being a Writer in 2018

  1. Computers— Can you imagine writing in the days of carbon paper, White Out and having to type a fresh manuscript if the manuscript you sent out came back in less than perfect condition? Computers. Definitely one of the best things.
  2. Spell Check— I know we complain about it but tell the truth, we depend on it as well. Plus it gives us a great laugh every now and then,
  3. Grammar Check— I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that underline and had to grab my Chicago Manual of Style to see why the grammar guru didn’t like that particular turn of phrase.
  4. Writer conferences— Can you imagine how much richer Louisa May Alcotts life would have been had she been regularly attending writer conferences. It would have been hard for Emily Dickinson to overcome her shyness but once she sat at a table with other writers her world would have opened up.
  5. Online writing communities— Need I say more? Another one of the best, best things
  6. Writing mentors— I’m always amazed by the experienced writers who choose to give back rather than cocoon themselves in a colony of their successful peers.
  7. Access to readers— who could every have dreamed of social media just 15 years ago?
  8. Publisher Info at our fingertips— I remember twenty years ago having to send for writer’s guidelines complete with SASEs. I had filing cabinets full of periodical guidelines as well as publisher guidelines. Now every periodical and publisher (and agent) has a website.
  9. Professional blogs like this one— now you can know what the industry peeps are thinking from day to day. The market changes so fast and now you can run with the changes.
  10. Options— who could have ever imagined Amazon, print-on-demand, micro publishers, ebooks, zero-cost self-publishing, etc., etc.. A whole world of possibilities has opened up to the writers of 2018.

So how about you? What did I miss? Why don’t you share your own best things?

41 Responses

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. The very best thing is that you don’t have to make a dime to make a difference.

  2. Carol Ashby says:

    How easy it is to sell internationally. When I started writing fiction in the fall of 2013, I never imagined that my novels about forgiveness, Christian love, and transformation would find readers all over the globe.

  3. On-line references . . . especially the Bible. All I need is just a snippet of a verse, and I have the whole thing. In context. In multiple translations. In Hebrew or Greek. Just a click away from cross references. Hallelujah!

  4. Research is so much easier now. I don’t have to travel as much to get what I need and the more books from the 19th century get digitalized the easier it is for me to find them, read them, and not spend a fortune. There are some precious gems out there.

  5. Relationships. Definitely relationships. Through blogging and novel-writing, I’ve met so many amazing people I never would have encountered. They’ve truly made my life richer.

  6. What an encouraging list, dear Wendy. #5 is my favorite. 🙂 Thanks for helping us focus on whatsoever is fabulous about being a modern day writer.
    I’m rereading “The First Five Pages” by Noah Lukeman; and while reading the first section, I felt grateful for the freedom to send queries, proposals, and manuscripts via email rather than wondering if my printer, ink, and paper is good enough.
    We’re not only saving time–we’re saving trees.
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac
    P.S. Amen to Andrew’s words: “You don’t have to make a dime to make a difference.”

  7. #6 is beautiful to me. A few years ago, I had a favorite author. I began devouring every book she wrote because she made me laugh, and she made me cry. And I wanted to be a writer like her one day. She wrote me a few weeks ago, asking if I would be in her critique group. I don’t deserve it, but I’ve been twice, and I can’t wait for our next meeting. My heart is so full.

  8. Yes! Because I’m writing in 2018 (and my Grandfather as well) my 99 year old Grandpa was able to hand write his life story onto over 1,000 yellow legal pad pages. His 68-year-old niece typed all of those pages into about 400 manuscript pages. Then I did some light editing, created paragraphs, chapters, and yes turned some of those massive run-ons into sentences. Then, boom! I made up a book for him on Create Space that he is able to give to friends and family and even sell. I am so so glad that we did this now days and not 20 years ago! He will celebrate his 100th in April and man he has seen a lot of changes, including those in publishing.

  9. #11 Agent blog sites 🙂

    Thanks for the refreshing perspective!

  10. About everything has been already mentioned here. What I like best is the way writers can be a community and encourage each other online. Of course I’d get more writing done if I spent less time reading and participating in discussions like this one. 😉

  11. I don’t have to imagine #1. I wrote my first books like that. I still have the onion skin carbon copies of my first books. And I retyped those manuscripts four or five times before they were sent to publishers. I used to go through reams and reams of paper every year.

    Another biggie: Submitting my books over the Internet rather than paying for FedEx to send a big box of paper to the publisher. The huge expense of all of those FedEx shipments is so nice not to have anymore.

  12. Karen Ball says:

    Well, Wendy Lawton is definitely a BEST!

  13. There’s only one thing that I think has deprived instead of improved. Editors don’t bother to let you know if a submission has been rejected. I know they’re busy, but how difficult can it be to send a form e-mail notice?

  14. Online research! It’s so much easier to find just exactly the factiod you need! Needless to say, verify anything you find. 😀

    • Oh my word, yes!! Google Maps is a fabulous tool for research!
      I was privileged to visit the uhh, Google Mother Ship and the technology blew my mind.

      • Oooooh, the mother ship! How cool! I do love being able to walk around a location with google maps after researching it. “Walking” the paths of Tivoli garden in Copenhagen and seeing, ah, there is a willow tree right over there for my heroine to become entangled in after she is dragged off the pirate ship restaurant by the dog. So helpful. Although, I would rather have visited for real, but I’m glad there is an inexpensive option. Even thought it won’t work on our internet. Coffee shops! I would have loved to visit the mother ship with you. How fun!

  15. Love this, Wendy, and all the comments have been great. I love having the research so available as well, and how easy it is to communicate immediately with a writer friend or my agent anywhere in the world without long distance costs. I, too, remember the typewriter and reams of paper and starting over because we didn’t have correction tape.

  16. For me, it’s the growth and the opportunities to learn new things that I didn’t know yesterday. The lessons God is teaching me just in the last few weeks have been weighty and rapid fire. In one week, on a Monday, I was given a HUGE blessing, which grew and grew and made me fall on my knees with gratitude. On Wednesday evening all that faded into the background in the light of my husband surviving a head on collision in a snow storm. I am so thankful that God does not build a house of cards over us, but a house of faith around us. As the song says, He is in the waiting. And I am glad that He is shaping me to be ready, instead of me shaping what I want.

  17. Pat Iacuzzi says:

    Reading my first Christian fiction novel…then discovering, and being able to join ACFW. I never thought I’d meet Books & Such agents, and actually meet and speak with authors like Lori Benton, Robin Lee Hatcher, and Jaime Jo Wright on-line! Certainly something I could never do with my grandfather’s old typewriter (black with those raised, open keys) I keep as a family heirloom–I probably couldn’t even get a ribbon for it today!

  18. Angie Arndt says:

    A little late to the party, but yes, relationships are the best thing! And regarding Wite-Out, my first job out of college was as a secretary (yes, still called it that then) complete with typewriter and carbon paper. I used so much of Mike Nesbitt’s (The Monkee’s) mom’s invention that they threatened to buy me a handy-dandy spray can of it.
    **Backspace and Delete are my friends.

  19. As an article writer, spending a morning at Wetherspoons editing my work. I’m having a pint AND I’M WORKING!

  20. Sonya Ramsey says:

    Writing to me gives me the ability to love and have faith. I believe when I share my personal experiences with the hurt and lost through writing or a conversation using my research for writing I am sharing the love JESUS have for all and faith that one day my writing and research will help a lot of persons who just need a kind word or some solid advice on Christian living