Often times, the first thing we want to do is to go out and buy a hundred different books about writing, whether it be grammar, plotting, or some obscure text about the difference between irony and sarcasm.
Generally speaking, this is where things get out of hand.
Now I'm not saying it isn't a good idea to get your teeth in the game, but if you continue to buy books you never end up reading, it's likely you'll be wishing you had used that money for something unnecessarily awesome, like a Delorean.
But I know you probably won't listen to me, and I'm not here to judge you for the way you live. Hell, I still have a difficult time following my own advice. So let me at least give you a few of the more reputable and useful resources I've found over the years.
On Writing, by Stephen King - Pick this one up if you need a few general tips on writing or are just interested in listening to King talk about baby-sitter farts. You can't go wrong by taking some of the advice of one of America's bestselling authors.
The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White - Here's a book of general do's and don'ts for writing. Most of this book is a subjective view on writing, but many editors still use this guide as a bible of sorts. It's great for anyone who wants to sharpen their prose, and the best part is you could read it in an afternoon.
Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects - This one explores a bit more into the nuts and bolts of sentence structure, the parts of speech, and how they work to produce desired effect on your audience. It's a heavy read, so don't expect to breeze through it easily, but I promise it will be well worth your time.
2. Podcasts and Audiobooks:
"Writing Excuses," with Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Taylor, and Dan Wells - A weekly podcast on story-building: from the complexity of characters to the deeper levels of getting your book published. These published authors talk about it all.
"Grammar Girl," with Mignon Fogarty - A podcast about, of all things, grammar.
Anything by Michael D.C. Drout - Seriously, this guy knows more things about writing than you'll ever need to know. What's more, he makes it interesting. My favorite courses by him is the series A Way With Words, which encompasses rhetoric, grammar, poetry, and approaches to literature. If you follow only one thing on this list, make sure it's this guy.
3. Vlogs and Blogs:
There aren't a lot of writing blogs I've found that were worth my time, but Kelley Lindberg at http://kelleylindberg.blogspot.com/ manages to both inform and entertain her readers. I suppose you couldn't go wrong following your favorite author's blog as well, as he or she will undoubtedly be posting things that are of a writerly nature.
What about you? Do you know of any great resources I might have overlooked?
Feel free to check out the rest of the website while you're here. Tony's new chapter of "Chef" at http://www.creativewritingtime.com/tony-jaeger.html