Hello everyone! A fellow blogger of A Writer’s Path, Ryan Lanz, has announced the launch of his new initiative: A Writer’s Path Writers Club.

After looking at the writing market for years, he noticed a need for a Writers Club of this kind. Sure, there are Facebook groups, writers groups, etc., but there aren’t many associations that are more than just a gathering of writers.

He wanted to create a club where the sole purpose of it is to solve headaches for writers. Here are some of the headaches he’s looking to solve:

  • It’s hard to find reviewers for my book
  • Writing-related service providers (editors, book cover designers, etc.) are expensive
  • I don’t know if my writing is good enough and I need feedback
  • I need more promotion for my book
  • I don’t know if my blurb or summary is good enough
  • Not enough readers know my book exists
  • I don’t know enough about what other successful authors have done to be successful
  • I don’t know if my book cover encourages readers to purchase it

And of course, there are fun stuff to be had too, such as giveaways and contests. Here’s the full list of benefits for the Writers Club:

      • Discounts from writer-related service providers, such as editors, book cover designers, proofreading services, ghostwriters, social media marketing, book advertising, template design, audio book narration, and more.
      • Contests and giveaways for free services and books.
      • free book promotion posts on A Writer’s Path blog every year (example here). Every post generates a social media shout-out of your book to my Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr, and Google+ account (total of 12,900 followers). he’ll set reminders for himself to notify you when your next post is ready.
      • Exclusive articles not seen on the A Writer’s Path blog.
      • Access to free blurb coaching.
      • Book of the Month” lottery. Winner gets their book featured for a month on A Writer’s Path blog in a tab along the top of every page/post. Also included is a promotional post featuring their book, summary, cover, and purchase links to all 25,000+ subscribers. One drawing per month.
      • Help to find you reviewers and critique partners (optional).
      • A free copy of his eBook, The Idea Factory: 1,000 Story Ideas & Writing Prompts to Find Your Next Bestseller. ($2.99 value)
      • Free critique of your book summaries and book covers (optional).
      • Insider tips from published authors in short, bite-sized articles.
      • Links to free books normally at full price.
      • Opportunities to show off your book to the other members.
      • Exclusive author interviews.

Feel free to check out A Writer’s Path Writers Club here.


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This is very interesting statement. A paradox in its literal translation, the negation in first sentence do implies a logical answer to question, but I still want to elaborate this and offer some additional thoughts.

Many of you know that Business in Rhyme has been established two years ago. With over 600 published posts, this spring it went into more professional realm, hence it coincided with injury of my right arm and deprived me of regular writing for many months. It forced me to somehow reinvent my routine and opened doors to additional possibilities and projects. The truth is also, that I at the moment enjoy other things besides writing (like my renewed interest for astrology, cosmology and nutrition) and I often ask myself: “Am I really a writer, can I call myself a writer since now I can go for days without writing – at least not in the form I am used to?” It’s not only that with my coaching and other projects I have less time for writing, but sincerely I don’t have that urging need to write. Being that poetry, for blog or journaling. However, I still do believe in all the benefits that writing can bring you. But what to do when you simply don’t feel like writing? And I don’t mean for a day or two, but it can go literally for months! Are you still a writer? One thing I’m certain in my case is that eventually I will go back to regular, full time writing. How will that look like? I don’t have answer to that question.

The truth is, that every action and experience you gain in your life is material for your writing. So you don’t feel like writing? That’s ok. Don’t hit your head against the wall. Don’t blame or push yourself if it doesn’t come naturally. But probably in your spare time you are reading, you are doing research (like I do at the moment). Real writer not only writes. He does everything in between that will enrich his story, poem, novel …He lives. When you consciously put yourself to be active participant in your life, not dwelling on the past or getting worried about the future, you are like an antenna receiving all valuable information that becomes raw material for anything you want to write. There is no wasted moment. It can’t be. You and your perception unfolds in the same manner as life which you are essential part of. And that becomes unique ingredient which moves your writing from ordinary to magnificent. No minute is wasted.

Many of you are also acquainted with my preference to quality over quantity.  Instead of wrestling with words you don’t like and find unsatisfactory, simply stop. Listen. Bring yourself to present time and feel what you would like to do. Go for a walk. Talk to a friend. Take a break. Even if it takes you months to find words you like, adore, that are strong enough and convey what you want to say.

Friends often ask me did I get tired of writing or do I have a ‘writer’s block’. I don’t think so. But there we can create like gaps in our routines, activities and the way we spend our time that somehow (at least in my case) we have need for something different in order to be pulled back to what we love. So I’m using this my pause in regular writing as an opportunity to remind myself why I love and need writing, why I am writer.

I hope that this will help also anyone of you who are maybe struggling with writing and are indecisive about their writing goals and direction. Just listen to yourself, you have the answer within you. You are a writer if you decide to be one. No number of pages or published books will tell or prove you that. Only you can.


If you liked this post, please share. And, If you you are interested in getting more inspiration for your creativity, writing and personal growth, sign up for our free monthly newsletter. You’ll get a free e-book with 31 daily prompts to inspire your writing. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook.

writing-buddy

Solace. I always emphasize how solitude is your great companion in writing. Stillness of environment allows the quietness of mind to take place and gives you opportunity to clear your thinking. You can easily access the deepest corners of your being and reconnect with your inner-self. Many writers take advantage and even pick remote and distant places when they are writing their books. I also believe it has to do with fact that in that kind of idle conditions we are able to tune in that inner conversation and it becomes clearer what is it that we want to convey.

For me, early morning hours are crucial for focused and productive writing. When mind is still in dream mode, silence and serenity that surrounds my home form almost ideal condition for writing. So, I always encourage writers to find those special moments during the day when their energy and creativity are high and use that in their advantage to write and brainstorm new ideas.

But of course every action must have a counter balance. Sometimes we need also a bit of encouragement, a cheer up, and a constructive criticism where honest feedback can help us to improve our writing. The fellowship with like-minded people can help you keep yourself accountable – on schedule with your writing goals.

Having your own writing buddy is a great opportunity to exchange experiences and is of great value in terms that it can:

  • give that needed wind in your back and motivate you in your writing
  • help you monitor your productivity and inspire you to foster better writing habits
  • help you clear your doubts and fears concerning writing
  • and even become your first beta-reader if you prepare a manuscript for publishing.

How should your writing buddy look like?

Preferably it should be someone who shares your reading taste and has similar writing interests. It should be someone with whom you can relate to, develop a reliable relationship of mutual trust and honesty.

So where to look for your writing buddy Your buddy might be a colleague, a friend, or even a stranger. You can join some of the online writing communities and forums where writers usually hang out, or book clubs and writing classes.

After you’ve found someone, you can exchange writing samples and see how it feels. Does that person find your work interesting and promising? Do you feel the same about their work? Discuss about your biggest challenges and see if person in question can be of any valuable help.

Most importantly, listen to your intuition. Your buddy must be someone you like, someone whose opinion you respect, and someone you feel comfortable sharing your writing with.

You want your buddy not only to keep you motivating and help you with editing, but also someone who is able to see the big picture and offer constructive ways for you to improve your writing, emphasize your qualities in writing and recognize your weaknesses.

You need someone who is in the same time going to be compassionate, but also keep you firmly focused on the goal – to finish your writing project! If you are more into searching for more professional relationship, than hiring a writing coach can be a perfect solution. Partnering with writing coach can help you move your writing to a next level and help you progress in your writing career. But it certainly needs to be someone you can trust and rely on.

Having someone along your side while working on your writing project will keep you accountable that you will actually finish your work and give you additional push in any of your hesitations to publish/submit your manuscript.

Further more, if you and your writing buddy share a similar writing style and interest, you can help each other in sharing marketing and promotional activities as well. You can exchange writer’s guidelines and often suggest potential markets for each other’s work.

Have you found your writing buddy yet? 🙂 Please share with us in the comments below.


If you liked this post, please share. And, If you you are interested in getting more inspiration for your creativity, writing and personal growth, sign up for our free monthly newsletter. You’ll get a free e-book with 31 daily prompts to inspire your writing. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook.

Oh, this is one of the questions I believe every blogger has encountered from time to time. And it happened to me this spring. It wasn’t a conscious choice, but rather physical condition that stopped from being able to write as much as I wanted do.

Anyway, it was a good opportunity to take break from blogging and contemplate about the future of Business in Rhyme: am I really able at the moment to fulfill goals I set for myself this year. This couple of months being more absent from the blog led me to learn few interesting things, not only about myself, but about writing as well.

In order for your blog to really prosper, you need to be clear what you want to achieve with your blog. Do you blog only for fun and occasionally share your poems? Or your blog is more ‘serious’ place where you publish your work as (a potential) an author and serves for showcasing your writing to publishers and agents?

That’s the first thing that will determine how often and what kind of content for you is recommended to publish.

The second thing is, (in order for your blog to grow) you need a firm, yet simple and applicable content plan to keep your blog on track. And by that I don’t mean loose ‘sketch’ in your head, but rather written in the form of editorial calendar or an excel spread sheet, which one you would place somewhere visible to you, as a reminder. You can get creative with this as much as you want – it’s important it works for you and motivate you to write.

How to create an effective content plan for your poetry blog? Think of your blog like a literary journal editor.

Maybe your blog could have some regular features. Something that you would publish on a constant basis. In moments when you lack ideas for writing, you could share what interesting poem you have read, or what you would like to read. Think of that one or two constant features that could go on weekly or monthly. You can also share a quote or video you find inspiring. Or even write about why you can’t write!

Write your feature ideas in one column and in the other be more specific of what you would like to share. For example you could introduce a feature ‘poem of the week’ and think of poem you lately read that you would like to share with your readers. Along the idea, assign a date you find suitable for publishing and slowly you are already building your editorial calendar and ensuring yourself to publish regularly.

Now, when you created a structure of your blog for next couple of months it’s easier to write in advance, even when your writing juices run dry.

Another thing you can do to motivate yourself to publish frequently is to keep yourself accountable by participating in challenges.

Accountability is like setting an intention in your consciousness that you need (not should) to write, because pure knowing that your readers are expecting to read something from you can ingrain a motivation to write. That’s what happened to me in April during NaPoWriMo. I didn’t feel like writing at all. The work I produced certainly it’s not the best I wrote so far, but just the act of writing and fulfilling the challenge brought me joy.

In the end, I do believe that taking occasional sabbatical from writing and blogging can be beneficial to our creativity as it allows us to recharge and regroup our forces in terms in which direction we want to deliver our writing.


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appreciate-art

Art is like being able to project our most inner self, hidden parts of our mind and heart we might’ve forgotten that exist and they appear to remind us to feel again, to recognize our human and empathetic nature. Art doesn’t take sides – it’s a guidance to different perspectives and modalities of human existence and behavior.

When an interviewer asked Marina Abramovic: “How do you know you are artist?”, she said: “Art is like breathing, you simply have to do it, in order to feel and stay alive”. So, there is an ingrained need to create, to contribute to the world using your own tools, language and ways of expressions. That need is larger than the artist himself, larger than the need to get recognition or reward. That need translates an experience he’s propelled to share and as itself is sure enough reason for him to sustain his creating.

Artists take risks to be exposed, judged and even scrutinized by the public, but their inner force and drive transcending their emotions and perception of reality through art is a silent message – message that will someone understand. Someone will be touched. Someone will be inspired. Someone will take action. They are not forcing or imposing something on somebody. By being able to dive deep into human hearts and stir emotions, they are able in their own language to show where and why something is not right. And here are my additional three reasons why we should appreciate art even more:

  1. You can’t force people to accept something. Law can regulate to some extent external conditions, but it can’t speak the language of universal human experience. Art can.
  2. Material gains also can satisfy you on the surface. No matter how much money you have, you still can be miserable. It can’t give you meaning and purpose. Art can show you where to search for– in both ways: by appreciating and creating your own art – like writing and poetry.
  3. Education can help you to understand what and how you might feel towards something, but it doesn’t always hold an answer why. You can’t intellectualize emotions and search for conclusions in chemical reactions and differential equations. Life is much more and art unmercifully shows us that.

When you are confronted to great, meaningful art, it’s hard to stay indifferent. It raises questions in you, provoke your thinking, make you feel uncomfortable – it can make turn your head or page, turn off the light or sound.

But, it will challenge you. It can shake you to your core and you start examining the world that surrounds you.

So in order to improve your creativity and sense different perspectives, expose yourself to art frequently as much as you can.

Create what is meaningful to you – your experience you want to share with the world. It doesn’t matter what medium you use – words, paintbrush or your body. Give your best to tell the world what it needs to know. That’s how change happens. It always starts with us. We are that initial spark, a snowflake that starts an avalanche.

And especially today, I want to encourage my fellow writers that when you write, be open, be bold and tell your untold story: turn even pain and suffering into celebration of life. Your life is your master-piece. Your most beautiful poem you are writing every day. There is nothing to be ashamed of – only to learn and grow.


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This year, comparing to previous one, was on odd writing experience. I didn’t enjoy as much as I wanted to since my right hand was injured (and still is) and my writing was much influenced by that. I was just browsing some of the poems I wrote (where most of them didn’t have any revision at all) and it’s interesting how internal struggle, discontent and pain can initiate some weird creativity modes and hence unexpected writing pieces. Some, I myself have to read a couple of times in order to understand them. Nevertheless, it was fun experiment.

The bad news is that my hand is still in recovering phase where is a danger of permanent damage of nerves due to already existing neuropathy. I need to frequently rest and with already present work and coaching there is little room left for poetry and blogging. So far, I have no idea how this will impact Business in Rhyme in future, but of course full recovery is my priority.

I want to thank you all who still visit and read old articles published here, and I hope they really help you in your writing journey. I’ll give my best to update as frequently as possible and I’m also exploring other ways of expressing my creativity and merge them with poetic techniques. Monthly newsletter will still go with prompts and links for improving writing and creativity.

I hope soon here will be some new poems and resourceful articles for you, so stay tuned and keep writing 😊

Maja

Poetry prompt: “Collage” your way to creativity

A collage as an art form was especially popular in dada movement. Many artists used this technique to provoke their unconscious thinking and explore metaphysical origins of reality. For example Hans Arp was famous for making a series of collages based on chance; he would stand above a sheet of paper, let squares of contrasting colored paper fall on the larger sheet’s surface, and then he would glue the squares – in any position they took by falling. Arp was interested in I-Ching fortune telling (where coins fallen by chance were interpreted for future forecasting) and he was curios what kind of visceral reaction would his art produce.
So how can you use technique of collaging to exercise your creativity?
The basic idea is for you to find small items, pictures, texts and letters from newspaper –anything that moves you and that you can rearrange into your own collage poem. By collaging your items, a new reality will start to form. Prune anything you find excess and look at new relations, surprises, metaphors, combinations. Your mind will try to justify any item by its origin, position, and dimension. This is an excellent exercise for your creative rebel, to shout, to say, to sing, to whisper anything in particular you can’t. Let this collage poem be the messenger of your creativity.


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Poetry prompt: Jot things down

Whenever you have an idea – write it down. No matter how silly, impossible, distant from the solution you’ve been contemplating, write it down. This unconstrained writing, where you simply don’t censure your thoughts is a technique called free-writing” or “free association”. You can go even step further and write it in the form of a poem.

I pretend this white page is a container,
a casket,
I can fill
with all of my screams and strengths’ of my lungs
that drip needless heart beats.

I pretend
I climb this white page and I linger on its edge
dangle, like an elephant’s rotten fang
I balance between words of sweetness and kindness
what I ought to be
and my giant gap mouth
ready to exfoliate rusty voice.

I pretend this white page is nimble
feasible enough to be my blanket in hours
of loneliness in the streets,
in the minutes of unanswered phone calls
in seconds of disillusioned awe
when I need to cover myself
and escape your stone-sturdy face.


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Poetry Prompt: Group effort

Once you become comfortable enough with your own creativity, why not spice up things and work in groups? So grab some of your “pen-friends”, play together and see how can you inspire and help each other become more creative.

Visual stimulation can unleash your imagination in the most exciting ways. You can pick some random picture and each of players has to make a story in the form of poem, inspired by the picture. Afterwards, you can all debate and see whose story is the most interesting or you can take it step further and compile all stories into one: it has to be believable and follow some logical structure. It’s best suited for groups of two, three people. With certain moderation you can use these ideas for your own creativity exercises, as well.

Every lock has a key.
there are ones you have to go

Look for. Search under every rock,
frisk every pocket and empty the tiniest

Drawer.

There are the ones you need to steal in order to enter
that want you to be brave, look fear strait in the eyes and defend
them with your body.

And there are the ones, just in front of your nose, but cleverly disguised,

Ones able to mold themselves to every hole and with one click

Takes you there.

If you listen carefully to jingling no door are closed to you.


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Poetry prompt: Try walking in their shoes

This prompt is all about changing perspective – viewing situation from someone else’s point of view. If you feel stuck with your writing, or you experience some oppositions from your peers in advancing with your project, this can be a good exercise to experience a different perspective and tackle problem form different angle. You can write about situation seen from a different cultural, educational background or even about sub-cultural differences. Prepare yourself for writing by getting acquainted with the culture you chose – through reading, watching documentaries, ext. For example, someone addicted to romance novels might try to write as someone who likes horror movies and stories with gothic elements.

This is skill we want to develop especially if we are engaged in fiction writing. It can help you foster empathy, broaden your view of the world and how other people think and feel.

Selfish sun

They think I’m the center.
Center of the galaxy.
That the world revolves around me.
I watch stars born and eat themselves to death.
I watch planets chase each other in dim vacuum
Showering meteorites at this lovely, blue midget planet
So confused and lost in its own grief and greed.
I watch how its people praise me for giving them life
And light. They sing songs about me and write verses.
But I burn, burn with each day and night more.
Boiling in my own redemption, fighting my own darkness.
That’s all I know and care for.


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