Let’s be honest: every time we sit at the keyboard to do anything productive we quickly come back to the realization that there are YouTube videos to watch, cat gifs to look at and people to stalk on Twitter. Though, the internet can also be a place to meet like-minded aspiring scribes. It’s not all doom, gloom and procrastination, as many websites can be used to improve ideas, find a community, or even just help increase your productivity.
Here’s a list of some of those websites you should be checking out in 2016.
Litreactor should come as no surprise to people who want to dive into the literature scene online. It boasts great workshops with fantastic people, ranging from small time authors to Chuck Palahniuk. Not only that, but it has a message board and a workshop to keep people critiquing, interacting andss working with each other to produce some mighty fine words. Also, it’s never shy on great articles, up to date reviews, and a podcast. It’s an ambitious site that produces a lot of great stuff, and if you’re going to browse the web when you should be writing, then you should check this one out.
It’s hard to fault Electric Literature for anything, as it tends to be a solution for people who are looking to find a resource for books. It has a team of contributors who are nothing short of fantastic, and features some of the best reviews out there – so every time they tell you that you should be reading a certain book, chances are you should listen to them. On top of that add essays, a free short story a week emailed straight to you, and you have a site that is always giving you the best stuff around.
Entropy Magazine joined forces with wonderful publishing house Civil Coping Mechanisms, and is a beacon of the literature, but particularly with a focus on writers and small presses. Notable for helping multiple authors with their lists featuring publishing houses that are open for submissions, focuses on new releases for books that may have been overlooked and interviews with the presses and the writers. It’s a place to go if you want to explore the books that don’t just get swept off the bestseller list – the books that are really worth reading.
Brain Pickings is a site to get lost in. It provides you with easily accessible articles that you may have not known about, but nonetheless it can provide fascinating insights in the lives of wonderful thinkers. It may be best to set a timer on this site as it can easily be powered through like a good Netflix series, except you have years of content to get lost in. Check it out if you’re feeling risky, but you will gain some great knowledge and insight.
Hold on – I’m serious. Stay clear of the memes and some of the stranger subreddits, and you can find some of the best prompts for stories on the internet. I find the writing subreddits to be a bit circlejerky, focusing on how to be writers rather than just writing, but browse AskReddit and see some of the stories people tell and you’ll find that the imagination of what if’s will get your mind flowing. Movie rights have been purchased for comments on there and as long as you tie a rope to a tree so you don’t get lost in the woods, it’s a treasure trove of great content.