In the few short years of my writing career – which I define as when I began to write for others to read and enjoy too – I have developed the habit in my research of taking notes. Brief jottings or quick summaries of anything & everything that inspired me.
Lately, as I have moved towards honing my own skills with the writing craft, I have made the intention of trying to condense these research notes to be even more concise and relevant to my work.
In the near future, I will be posting this information in sections on this blog, so stay tuned for that and I’d imagine you will also want to subscribe to not miss it.
Until then, the following is a list of my favourite writing sites & resources to help be just a generally good human.
This list is by no means comprehensive and will be continuously updated,
so bookmark it and visit again later!
thoughtful inspiration & writing prompts
- Best Film Speeches & Monologues: an extensive listing of almost 700 Best Film Speeches and Monologues, organized chronologically.
- Brain Pickings: a treasure chest of free knowledge, insight, information, inspiration, and random fragments populating many famous minds
- Open Culture: free cultural education media!
- Quora: a place where the comments are actually helpful and insightful. wow!
- Good News Network: some courageous, lovely and noble behaviour to reflect over
- InspiroBot: an artificial intelligence dedicated to generating unlimited amounts of unique inspirational quotes for endless enrichment of pointless human existence
de-stress help & mood boosters!
- Pixel Thoughts: remember that we are all stardust, even our dumb problems.
- Nostalgia Machine: return to a time when you had no worries!
- Weave Silk: interactive generative art – kinda fun.
cool tech (extensions, apps, etc.)
- F.lux: makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt (dim or brighten) to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. This matters because the blue light from your screen can actually cause insomnia.
- Newsfeed Eradicator: because you definitely spend way too much time on Facebook, and this extension helps by blocking your newsfeed and leaving you with a motivational quote instead.
research, or aimless wandering of the World Wide Web
- Best History: although West-centric, this is an easy space for finding quick history-oriented resources online.
- Enigma Public: the world’s broadest collection of public data.
- Flowing Data: stuff about how statisticians, designers, data scientists, and others use analysis, visualization, and exploration to understand data and ourselves.
- Google Arts & Culture: random stories every day from Google.
- Google Trends: what is relevant and topical in the world according to Google.
- Genre Tropes: an exhaustive list of everything, which at the very least reminds us that the goal is not to be original, but to be ambitious with remixing original ideas.
- Internet History Sourcebooks: a collection of public domain & copy-permitted historical texts presented without advertising for educational use.
- Knoema: sort of random collection of factoids about a wide range of topics, from world nations to crime statistics, doing for data what Google does for websites.
- Internet Archive (AKA Wayback Machine): non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more!
- Internet Sacred Text Archive: a comprehensive collection of books on religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric.
- Oxford Text Archive: here is an impressive source that collects, catalogues, preserves & distributes high-quality digital resources for research and teaching – thousands of texts in more than 25 different languages.
- Phobia List: a list of phobias, go figure.
- RefSeek: check your facts, dude, with this directory of the Web’s top almanacks (including the Census Bureau, CIA World Factbook and the Old Farmer’s Almanac).
- Research Pipeline: a hub for in wiki format, blogs, maps and other visualizations.
- Skeptic’s Dictionary: definitions, arguments, and essays on different beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions.
- Snopes: largest fact-checking site on the Internet, widely regarded by journalists, folklorists, and laypersons alike as one of the world’s essential resources.
- The Underground New York Public Library: a visual library featuring the Reading-Riders of the NYC subways.
- Wiki List of Hobbies: this list includes only recognized hobbies that have been the subject of published discussions or that have organized membership associations.
- WorldAtlas: because being familiar with our planet home is always relevant, but even further, find lots of random surprising factoids about places around this globe – like poisonous lakes to unique city squares to endangered species of trees!
boredom killers & healthy procrastination
- 16 Personalities: learn more about yourself & better understand your virtues.
- GeoGeussr: for those who enjoy getting lost – or GoogleMaps made into a game.
- Last Night’s Reading: drawings and quotes from readings in New York City.
- Today’s Document: daily featured documents from today in history from the holdings of the U.S. National Archives.
- National Library Service: a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page.
- fiction, online!
- 150 Great Articles & Essays: must-read articles and essays by famous writers – the best examples of short articles & essays to read online.
- Author Birthdays: an evergrowing compilation of author b-days!
- Google Lit Trips: a resource that marks the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth.
- Internet Public Library: for finding books and info about said books.
- Learner – World Literature: some more interactive resources that can help contextualize and summarize famous literature from around the globe.
- Library of Congress Reader Section: for people of all ages to discover the fascinating people, places and events that await you whenever you read.
- Literature Map: creates maps of author names by similarities to other authors, so handy if you are looking for books with a similar style, theme or audience.
- NYT Best Sellers: for keeping up with what’s popular and selling right now.
- Reading Length: for those curious how long will it take to read a particular book.
- Shmoop Literature: a learner-friendly site for summarizing literature and more.
- Teaching Books: if you want to get to know some authors better, including videos of them reading from their books or how to pronounce their names!
- Writers No One Reads: highlighting forgotten, neglected, forsaken, unrecognized, unacknowledged, overshadowed, out-of-fashion, under-translated writers.
- YASIV: for readers wanting recommendations on books based on past readings they enjoyed, using basic “customers who bought this also bought…” data from Amazon.
- non-fiction, online!
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. (1999)
- CourseHero: this section of the site offers visual summaries of famous books!
- Fact Check: nonpartisan, nonprofit resource, mostly about US politics
- Google Alerts: for when you are looking for any news on specific content.
- Google Ngram Viewer: displays graphs showing how terms relate to one another across varying book genres and over time.
- Havoscope: how much does that go on the “black market” – well then click here for information and threat intelligence on the global black market.
- Printable Planners: get yourself more organized with schedule planners!
- RefSeek’s Writing & Grammar: top guides for writing style & grammar help.
- Story Wars: community teamwork storytelling, where you can either create your own story or continue on someone else’s – fun right?
- Whichbook: book recommendation platform, enabling millions of combinations of factors to then suggests books which most closely match your needs & interests
- Hiveword Writer’s Knowledge Base: a massive search engine for writers.
- The International Children’s Digital Library: promoting respect for diverse cultures by providing access to the best of children’s literature from around the world.
- Historical Fashion Masterpost: lots of era-specific fashion information
science fiction & fantasy fun
- Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: a comprehensive, scholarly, and critical guide to science fiction in all its forms (with ALL entries are free to access).