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Give Your Writing Muscle a Good Workout – Recommended Website for Writers

June 23rd, 2014


Well, that was a week! Between the kids, the car’s puncture, dentists, rehearsals, domestic chores … it’s a wonder any writing got done at all. Sometimes it would be easier not to write. I mean, let’s face it – there just isn’t time, is there?

Ah no … now, that way lies defeat! As Colin Nissan says – “Writing is a muscle … it needs to be exercised to get stronger.” And you know he’s right. Like playing music, writing is a discipline. It needs to be practised and, somehow, we just have to make time for it.

So how do we do that?

One thing that helps me along is feedback. Writing is a solitary activity and, much as I love those quiet moments, sometimes in the right space, with the right people, it’s good to start a conversation, get a second opinion (maybe even a commission).

Back in the day you had to go along to a writers’ meeting in some drafty old church hall for that kind of thing. But these days, a lot of groups exist online and, if you’re after a network of like-minded folk, ABCtales is a  good place to start.

ABCtales was launched in September 2000 by John Bird (The Big Issue founder), along with Gordon Roddick (The Body Shop co-founder) and Tony Cook (Chairman of Red Pepper, co-owner of Praxis Films). The site allows you to both put up pieces for peer criticism, and comment on other people’s work. Editors select a ‘Story of the Month,’ and there are blogs and a chatroom – it’s a good place to pick up news of competitions or publishers on the lookout for undiscovered talent.

To the uninitiated (those who think they can write because they can scribble out a shopping list) it will always sound like nonsense, but we know that writing is a craft which must be learnt, can be taught, and improves with practice. ABCtales is a great place to practise.

Keep on writing!

Phil Busby is a small-time playwright and singer-songwriter from Manchester. He has been working on a trilogy of fantasy novels for more years than he cares to confess.

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