Yes, tomorrow is a big day for all of us poetry lovers, as it is a good chance for us to gear up our writing and improve our poetry skills. As many of you might noticed I haven’t been active very much on the blog lately, which is due to my right elbow injury. It hurts like hell and any repetitive movement like typing is simply causing me to much pain. It’s extremely difficult for me to work. Recovery is too slow and I’m facing 8 weeks of rigorous physical therapy. I truly hope it will help me get back on track with my writing (this paragraph took me almost an hour to type!).

Anyway I don’t want to miss this NaPoWriMo, and I’ll do my best to stick to the challenge until the end. For additional inspiration I intend to use prompts from my ‘Get busy with writing’ e-book. 31 prompts to stir up creativity and if you think you could benefit with some additional inspiration for NaPoWriMo, follow this link to get your free copy.

I wish you all a happy and fruitfull NaPoWriMo! ūüôā

poetry_dreamjob

How to choose a career path? In these two-part post series I’ll discuss the benefits of reading and writing poetry for career development.

We all know that career as a definition and societal phenomena has undergone many changes and I do believe that today it has become very personal thing. A stay-at-home mom, having three kids and raising her family can be very satisfied with her life. Or someone who is working every day in an isolated lab, researching and developing new formulas can be very proud of their life. It all comes down to what we perceive that we are good at and what we consider success in life.

But we also have to keep in mind that many factors influence our decisions and how we see ourselves – especially in early adolescence. In my culture, technical sciences were seen as a crown of any scientific advancement and many of us were conditioned to make our educational choices according to that premise. Not what you are talented for, not what you liked to do – but rather what job markets needed. And there is nothing wrong with having that factor in mind, but also trying to find that middle ground where you can really express your talents and true nature – in meaningful and contributive way, is what you can do best for yourself (especially when you have a lots of interests).

What all that has to do with poetry, you might ask? Nothing and everything – depending how you look at things. As we practice writing poetry, I do believe that at the most deepest levels, while training ourselves to observe the world, we also observe ourselves: our feelings, needs, inclinations, behavioral patterns, habits. When you write in the first person, your attention is focused on yourself. You are learning about ‘real you’ and from there what kind of life you want. Poetic language is condescend, emotionally ‘pumped up’ and may contain hidden messages that in regular writing we would easily omit.

Free writing and journaling are quite straightforward and direct. Poetry very much relies on metaphor and figurative language. What we actually see and perceive, once expressed in metaphorical speech can also serve as a basis of developing new reality we want to experience Рin any aspect of  life. It can trigger ideas for solutions and new approaches to problems, even when it comes to your career choice.

Instead of saying:” I’m confused, I don’t know what I want, what I want to do”, we can also say:

“Everything is blur and fogy around me,

¬†I can’t see clearly.

If I walk I might trip and fall.”

This kind of perspective can further opens door to new possibilities instead locking us down in our own thinking, leaving us feeling deprived, depressed or miserable. The above metaphor might apply the need for taking cautious, baby steps, trying to focus on one thing at the time (trying to find direction in dense fog and search for light).

This kind of approach can lead to development of healthy narrative identity, as defined by Northwestern University psychologist Dan McAdams. As further described in this article McAdams sees

narrative identity as an internalized story you create about yourself ‚ÄĒ your own personal myth. Like myths, our narrative identity contains heroes and villains that help us or hold us back, major events that determine the plot, challenges overcome and suffering we have endured. When we want people to understand us, we share our story or parts of it with them; when we want to know who another person is, we ask them to share part of their story.

How we perceive our lives also leads to “narrative choices” we make. If we are able to see anything good in our past experiences and have that internalized narrative that sheds a light of growth and improvement, ¬†is the key to crafting a positive identity, having control over your life and that you are able to overcome life’s obstacles.

And I often like to say “we can’t change the past, but we can rewrite it”. Poetry can help us ¬†to tell a different story about ourselves. Our capabilities, our desires, but also understanding of different perspectives. But most importantly, as poetry ask you to access your deepest and most hidden thoughts and parts of your personality, it can help you realize what you really want, what is your potential and how to realize it.

To complement this reading I also invite you to read this post about benefits of having  purpose statement and vision for your personal development.


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.

wordpress-logo-freethemes_poetry

For almost two years I have been blogging constantly on wordpress.com. For that time I had opportunity to follow and read numerous blogs, both on writing and poetry. It made me realize, at least in my case, that certain blogging themes, offered here on wordpress.com in terms of functionality and readability can impact a lot reader’s experience. I have experimented with several themes and today I will share what I think are the best free themes you can use on your blog to better present your poems and make your blog more attractive to your readers. These are my personal preference, but I suggest you play around with different templates and see which one best suits your writing needs. Experiment for couple of days/months and see how it goes. You can always switch to another.

One thing I think is helpful to have in mind is that the theme should always serve your writing. One that presents your content in the most beneficial way, not distracting your reader.

In general what is the best to look for in blogging theme:

  • one that is responsive, which means it looks good on any device;
  • one that offers emphasizing your words, like different typography;
  • one where you can place your social buttons prominent and people can easily access your social media accounts.

So here’s my list:

  1. Penscracth: I used this theme for a long time and I’ve been very pleased with its performance. It is a clean, responsive writing theme with support for site logos, featured images, and in side bar you can place any widget to enhance the functionality of your website. It was really developed with writer’s needs in mind.

penscratch-featured-screenshot

  1. Button is very similar to penscratch. Perfect for long forms of writing, but you can also define a static page, and it allows featured images to really pop up!

button-featured-screenshot

  1. Independent publisher is a beautiful theme with wide central column. It has a light color scheme and paired with bold typography makes any content more attractive. The menu is easily accessible in the upper right corner, and most importantly, it’s responsive.

  1. Chateau-is to go for, if you are looking for something more classic and vintage. It’s an elegant theme which offers the experience of reading an old book, written by hand. You can choose between three different layouts for your blog and multiple archive styles. With five widgets areas in the footer you can customize your blog in many different ways.

chateau-full-page-featured-image

  1. Rebalance¬†is a simple portfolio theme. Initially it is designed with¬†photographers and artists in mind, but if you are more into visual poetry, where you use a lot of graphics, this theme might be perfect for you.¬†Its responsive layout is optimized for all devices and it has a stylish typography. Front page allows you to display multiple posts in clear view.This template supports ‘featured images’ to appear in several places, including archive pages, the portfolio page template, and the home page, so it’s perfect for any visual artist. It also supports for you to upload your own logo and social media buttons are neatly placed just above the menu.

reabalance-screenshot

  1. Syntax¬†is a designed to enhance both writing and reading experience. It’s responsive, with large, easy-to-read type. This is where content takes on all the attention and primary menu is placed behind a tab on the left side of the screen. Very handy!

syntax-featured-screenshot

  1. Celsius is another minimal and clean template that very well accentuates any type of content. This theme supports multiple post formats, slide-out navigation with bold featured images that look good on any device.

screenshotlg

  1. Apostrophe¬†is a fully responsive theme. It’s perfect if you want to organize your poetry like in a poetry journal/magazine for example and give your reader that kind of experience. It has easy-to-read typography paired with a modern, minimalist design. Choose from a single-column layout, or make use of multiple sidebar and footer widget areas. Highlight your best posts to add variety and interest to your homepage, and showcase your social media links at the top of the page.

apostrophe-featured-screenshot

  1. Sapor is another simple and clean theme I recommend. It supports bold images and content that is easy to read. You can chose a layout with right sidebar where you can place your important social media links, your gravatar with your short author biography, list of most popular posts and ext. With this template any content becomes more attractive.

sapor-featured-screenshot

  1. Radcliffe is a bold theme with strong typography and full-width header images.¬†Here is all attention placed on the content, and I what like the most about it (beside the fact it’s responsive) is that it is very eye-catching and it’s inviting you in – to look for more, to read more. It allows you to upload your own custom logo and also includes custom menu¬†in the header.

radcliffe-featured-screenshot

This is just a tiny selection of wide range of themes offered on wordpress.com. Find one that best fits your blog’s needs and customize the way to accentuate your blog, with information in widgets area that are valuable to your readers and that enhances your content.

What are your favorite blogging themes? Please share 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. To learn more about coaching opportunities click here. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook. 

are-you-a-newbie-writer

Mistake. Not very popular word in our vocabulary and it is something you usually don’t want to hear about. But guess what, we are all just humans. And it means we all do make mistakes. It’s a natural part of learning curve and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve been in research and writing for about twenty years and after 50+ published papers, numerous research projects, two dissertations, 3 books and year and a half of blogging, I still do make mistakes. And I don’t mean like grammar and typos. Sometimes I don’t manage to express myself as clearly as I wanted or at times I’m not assertive¬† enough to share my work… but that all doesn’t matter.

I’m not talking about these kind of mistakes. I’m referring to behavioral attitudes that many young or new writers somehow acquire that can slow down or even hinder their success in writing as a profession.

First mistake: They don’t embrace their talent and passion (enough)

So you like to write. And you write daily. You have a favorite pen and notebook that you carry around with you all the time so you can write whenever you feel like. But your words never see the sunlight beyond the pages of your notebook. Or you have a novel captured in your computer file that you’ve been working on for ages, but you simply can’t finish it. I know. I’ve been there too. Most of writers have. You are afraid to share your writing. We all fear judgment, rejection, negative opinions. But these are all just opinions. Rejection letter is more a sign that you need to get deeper into your writing than it shows that you are a bad writer. It shows that you are trying and that’s what counts. In one of my recent posts I wrote:

Instead of thinking about fear, think of legacy you’ll leave behind.

Every writing will find it’s right reader. If it’s honest and authentic, it will. You must share your work. It’s the only way for your message to be heard and it is a perfect way for you to find motivation to improve your writing even more. You are building a bridge between you and that outer world you want to communicate with. The world that want to hear your story. The world that want to be part of your experience.

Embrace your love for writing: start blogging (if you aren’t already), submit that story or poem to your favorite journal and finish that first draft. Finish it and be proud of yourself.

Second mistake: They don’t test the water before diving in.

What I mean by this is that many writers hurry too much in advance to profile themselves as a fiction or non-fiction writers, short story writers and ext. I believe that the best approach you can apply is to experiment and simply play. Yes, play. Try different genres. No matter how uncomfortable it gets. Not only are you improving your writing skills this way, but you’ll get clearer picture of where you would like to go with your writing. Learn more about yourself this way. For instance, when I was seventeen I got fascinated with earthquakes and volcanoes. So my first degree is engineering in natural sciences. It was followed with job in research and teaching position. Than I branched out into management, still doing research and teaching. At one point I began to flirt with applying arts in learning programs and innovation management. And as I did somehow radically changed my fields of work and interests, they have something in common: writing and teaching – which is my predominant occupation today. One that is fulfilling, contributional and somehow connecting all my talents and skills together.

So try new things, don’t narrow yourself to one or two styles and writing genres. You are a writer who’s opinion, experience, ideas and creativity matters. Your writing matters and you don’t have to decide now what kind of writer you are. You are a writer. Period.

Third mistake: They don’t treat themselves as a real writers.

For me this is very simple. You are, or you are not a writer. Don’t proclaim yourself to be an aspiring writer, beginner writer or recreational writer. If you are serious about writing, than switch your mindset to think and treat yourself like a professional. You become what you identify yourself with. From that kind of thinking you will find motivation for inspired action to move into more professional realms. Educate and invest in yourself in mastering your writing skills and building an audience that can serve for your message to be shared and received by the world. That is what you want. And there is nothing wrong to get paid for your words and services. Does your writing bring valuable contribution? Does it entertains, offers solution or maybe people can learn form it? You can find freelance writing job opportunities in areas you are skilled or experienced in. It might be hard at the beginning in a highly competitive market but you have to start at some point if you want to become a full time writer.¬† Search for additional paying opportunities like contests and journals. You can also offer a course and different types of content creation that are related to writing. But start early, start now.

These are three typical mistakes I have noticed that newbie writers often fall into. Instead of conclusion, I want to share this beautiful poem by Marge Pierce that so eloquently encapsulates all previously said. I hope it will inspire you to treat your craft as an expression of art, because ‘the real writer is one who really writes’.

For the young who want to

Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don’t have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else’s mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you’re certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.

(source: poetryfoundation.org)

Further recommended reading:

In this post we share why is your authenticity key to becoming a successful writer.
And learn more why community is essential in building your author platform.

How about you? What mistakes did you make when you first start writing? Please share 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. To learn more about coaching opportunities click here. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook. 

poetry_patience

This post, and the thing I experienced today is a perfect opportunity for me to write about patience and emotional resilience. I actually wrote this post few days ago, but I saved it on my desktop, for further editing and my laptop crashed. Yep, and with it the first version of this post, which I liked much more, but of course, I didn’t back it up, so we are patient and writing again. I hope I’ll manage to express clearly enough what I want to say.

Life consists of many little moments like that. Situations and people we encounter on a daily basis and how we are able to deal with them makes all the difference. And talking about¬†my self – well I’ve never been a champion in mastering those things. Actually I’m quite short-tempered. A quality that I’m not very proud of.

It’s not that I enjoy any kind of quarrel or verbal conflict, but I am very passionate person (in both good and negative way) and it has impacted my life on so many levels. When I believe that I have arguments to defend my case, people can find me too assertive and not very approachable. Especially at work, no matter how you are right (or believe you are right), you need skills to manage situation in such way not to go against your own interests, and when you are under pressure, imprisoned by deadlines and other shortcomings – diplomacy is not the first word that pops up to your mind. When you are emotionally charged up and you let yourself fall into dispute, you are not hurting only the other person, but most importantly you are hurting yourself. And it doesn’t serve you at all.

I’ve been writing poetry on daily basis now for almost three years. And people have been telling me about subtle changes they noticed in my behavior. Positive changes. And I know I worked hard in last couple of years to improve my lifestyle and habits, but this particular I do believe has a lot to do with writing poetry. My colleagues have noticed a that I deal with stressful situations more efficiently, with calm and ease. And when I think more clearly about what they imply to is that instead of reacting to situation, I’m taking my time to respond to situation. I am able to step back and analyze it from different angles. I’m not attacker and I’m not a victim. I am observer and from that vantage point, I deal with problem with much care, taking into consideration other side’s point of view. Writing is like dumping whatever emotional load I could be holding on to, which leaves the space for clarity, compassion and understanding. Or sometimes when I write poem about the situation, it turns on a humorous tone, which makes me laugh and immediately lessens the tension in my body.

And in some other instances..it’s quite interesting. I for example don’t like any type of waiting. In the supermarket, for public transport…what ever it is. I always try to find some shortcut. I might walk instead of waiting, go late in the evening to buy stuff…but you can’t predict and control everything. For New Year’s I went to Belgrade to visit my parents and of course there were many people traveling. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is one of the largest in Europe and you can imagine how it can get crowded during the holidays. It was so congested that I waited more than hour to pass security. In previous times, it would probably freak me out, but this time I enjoyed watching people, their characters and thought of dear friends I haven’t seen in a long time.

Writing poetry teaches me to understand the world as it is, without judgment. In such way, you are more flexible to adapt to current conditions instead of trying to mold everything to fit your scenario.  And believe me, it is so liberating!

The best advice I can give you is try to use your daily writing habit to relieve stressful thoughts and feelings. Use it as tool to connect with yourself, honor your most deepest and honest feelings. It will empower your emotional preparedness, clarity, understanding of you current experience and most importantly, it will bring you moments of peace to restore you energy in the crazy and hectic world we live in.

Patience, Though I Have Not

Patience, though I have not
   The thing that I require,
I must of force, God wot,
   Forbear my most desire;
For no ways can I find
To sail against the wind.
Patience, do what they will
   To work me woe or spite,
I shall content me still
   To think both day and night,
To think and hold my peace,
Since there is no redress.
Patience, withouten blame,
   For I offended nought;
I know they know the same,
   Though they have changed their thought.
Was ever thought so moved
To hate that it hath loved?
Patience of all my harm,
   For fortune is my foe;
Patience must be the charm
   To heal me of my woe:
Patience without offence
Is a painful patience.
Sir Thomas Wyatt

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. To learn more about coaching opportunities click here. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook. 

 

efficient-writer

What exactly is high efficiency? In broader sense, in my own interpretation being highly efficient is being able to accomplish all desired goals in defined time-frame with satisfying results. The most accomplished people in any industry are those who are highly efficient and for writers this is a very ¬†‘handy trait’ to acquire.

Many of us are not born as highly efficient and productive. But we can learn to improve our performance in any realm of life which can lead to more energy, focus, confidence, productivity and satisfaction – something that any writer desperately needs.

You want to be efficient not occasionally when ‘all pieces of your life fall in the right place in the right time’. You want that sustained confidence and ability to be at the top of all things, having your life and writing under control – not the other way round.

And the next few things I’m about to say here are nothing new to you. You probably heard them a lot of times before, but yet we do forget and slip of our writing wagon. So take my recommendations as a friendly reminder and a guidance to help you examine your life ¬†habits and how that is impacting your writing.

Step 1: take care of your basic needs properly, so you have more time for writing.

You probably could see this one coming. I simply can’t stress enough how this is important. When your basic needs like eating, sleeping¬† and daily movement/exercise are fulfilled then your body and mind are prepared for any challenge. It’s a prerequisite to any productivity. Fueling your body with healthy whole foods will give you energy, strengthen your immune system and endurance you need in order to achieve what you want. This, paired with enough sleep and relaxation instead of indulging in useless TV program will give you clear mind and focus you need in order to write and jump over that writers block.

I know I named this post easy steps and all this might not be easy in the beginning, but in a way we need to unlearn our unhealthy habits; to start fresh with open mind, heart and faith that with little baby steps we can retrain ourselves¬† –¬† to cultivate better habits and allow ourselves become writers we want to be.

Step 2: set reasonably achievable writing goals.

This is where, in my opinion is one of the traps we often as writers fall in. Setting too much goals or goals that are defined in tight time-frames can sometimes play as a true motivator, but more often it produces more pressure which leads to additional stress and discontent. I know that some people can have high performance under pressure, but think about it: how will that actually impact your life in the long run?

I am unfaltering advocate of being true and clear with yourself: what are your priorities? Chose one or two things you really need/want to do and start from there. Doing everything, everywhere in the same time is not a sustainable efficiency.

Step 3: do it, write it – no excuses

We are, with our human nature a real champions when it comes to excuses – why not to do something. You lack time, energy, you are busy, you are hungry, you are too hot or too cold, sleepy or..whatever. If you notice some of these thoughts creeping to your mind, go back to steps one and two. There is all magic happening. Your next poem, story, manuscript or blog post is hiding right up there. When you conquer steps one and two, your productivity will improve, your desire to learn and acquire new skills, have fun and immerse yourself in creative outlets will naturally come back running to you.

Do you have any tips on writing productivity? 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. To learn more about coaching opportunities click here. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook. 

3-ways-poetry-promotes-health-and-wellbeing

I often write how poetry is a life-savior. But in this particular post I want to dive even deeper in specific ways poetry can help you deal with every day stress and anxiety.

For me, personally poetry is a space, a huge empty room I can fill with anything I want.

Any emotion, fear, anger, desire and love I can put there, observe with care and sort them out. It’s a perfect mechanism to put your feelings under control and actually get freedom to breathe easily again, take off that pressure from your chest. Poem gives you back your voice, your permission to shout, to rebel, to smile! The American poet, Edna St Vincent Millay so beautifully put it in her famous sonnet

 I will put Chaos into fourteen lines And keep him there.

And even those who turn their heads and ears from poetry will still now and then switch on their radio, bang their hands in the rhythm on the stirring wheal and sing along their favorite tune. Aren’t poetry, songs and lyrics very close cousins offering us that immediate relief we look for in everyday life?

Another thing I have observed that poetry offers as a healing component is that many of us reach for literature in hope to find explanation for the things we cannot articulate, express or even understand ourselves. Poet knits a story in his poem ‘as it is’, yet it stays subjective and mono-observant. Still, there‚Äôs an inclination, that when we are sad, we are most comforted by sad poems and sad music. Often poetry comes with some sort of solidarity in times of solace where while you read your favorite authors somehow even subconsciously, you validate your own experiences as universal – which ¬†makes acceptance of particular situation ¬†much easier and less volatile.¬†

Jeanette Winterson, in her book ” Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal” says,

you can use poetry as a light and a laser.  It shows up your true situation and it helps you cut through it.

But also, on the other side of word-spectrum lies different possibility. And with every reading of a poem you are empowering yourself with additional hope and inspiration.

We know this at the most fundamental level as with reading each line we bring forth our own meaning, analyses, forcing us to make new connections among images, events, people and situations. ‘What is’ can be easily transferred to ‘what if’ and there is your healing power. The poem always brings you in the now, in the present moment: that creative pause you steal for your self in the every day routine is an escape from dreadful, petty ordinary things and a gate to inner peace and stillness.

Poetry is the celebration of life. Dark and bright moments – what ever they are, poetry is your companion. It can make you laugh, or even fall in love with yourself like Susana Thenon writes in ‚ÄėNuptial Song‚Äô (about being ‘happily married’ to yourself).

Use poetry as a beautiful distraction in your life instead of indulging in junk food, tabloids and TV realities. That is your safe harbor in the tumultuous time of your every day situations.


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. To learn more about coaching opportunities click here. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook. 

how-to-blog-a-poem

Is there a proper way to blog a poem? No. I don’t believe so. Simply, poetry as an art form is very subjective to poet and reader in different ways. It promotes freedom of speech, freedom of written word and expression, so trying to foster any rules is actually diminishing its essential function as an art piece. But I also believe it is important for us to acknowledge we are living in a digital world and available technological tools we can use in our own advantage to reach more like-minded readers, spread our message and have desired impact in the world.

Technology paired with different art forms, such as poetry is birthing other artistic, somehow hybrid, multimedia forms and that’s the moment where all the fun begins.

Becoming creative on how you present your poems, how you enhance the written word can have a great influence on your reader. Especially this could be of interest for newly established poetry blogs. Words should always be your focus, but how you access your audience across diverse social media platforms is also important.

Almost any blog platform, just as wordpress allow authors to post different types of content like photos and videos. You can pair your poem with suitable photo to accentuate the atmosphere and experience you want to convey, but even more important it can be using feature to record yourself reading your poem. Your voice and your emotions have a great power to move your readers, and you sharing your deepest intimacy in such way is making any feeling, image and interpretation even more believable and true.

To get your reader more acquainted with your poetry pieces, you can share your opinion on different poetry styles, your writing and creative process, how poetry impacts your life, your favorite poems and poets. This is a great opportunity for someone who is new to poetry and your blog to get acquainted with your background, style formats, different poets. You can form a page like ‘start here’ to present such information.

If you have attention of becoming more professional writer, than your blog becomes your portfolio, where you showcase pieces of your work.

So what are the actual steps you can do to improve your blogging process?

  1. My experience has shown that it is the best to blog at least few times a week. You are getting your readers accustomed to reading regular content and it is also good routine to get you in a writing mode. To make it easier, you can draft a lose editorial schedule to keep you focused and on track.
  2. Pick 2 -3 social media platforms you are most comfortable and connect with your wordpress account. Do your research and see where your writing style fits best – like Instagram and Tumblr are very popular for short and visual poetry. Use Publicize feature which allows you to directly publish your post to your social media accounts. Make sure in the title to use adequate hashtags as it will make your post more prominent and easier to find.
  3. To consolidate your audience, you can start building you email list of subscribers by installing a prominent signup or MailChimp account offering something like ‘next week’s poem in your inbox’.
  4. Other cool thing I liked and some writers have been doing is collecting their most popular pieces and offering them as a bundle in pdf booklet or ebook that readers could download for free. It’s a great promotional tool for you to show to prospective publishers and media agencies.
  5. Use small snippets and excerpts of your poems to engage your followers on twitter and drive that traffic back to your site.
  6. Consider submitting your poetry to different literary journals. You can treat your blog as a writer’s resume and update your blog regularly with your published work. In such way you are building your writer’s reputation.
  7. Repost. You can ‘recycle’ your old content/poem by refreshing or publishing it in the same form which allows newcomers to your blog to get acquainted with your older poems/articles.
  8. And maybe best advice one can give you is, to follow your instinct and publish your poems in a way you think best represents what you want to say. Reading poetry is unique experience, just as your writing. Be open to learn and experiment and with time you will develop your recognizable style.

As long as you¬†keep your readers engaged and keep conversation going, they will frequently return to read new content. And more importantly share your beautiful poems ūüôā


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5-ways-to-beat-procrastination

When we want to get things done, it’s amazing how human mind can get creative and tricks us into any number of reasons of why not doing something. Excuses simply pile up and convince us why we should wait for some perfect conditions in order to get things done.

So lets approach this problem from other perspective. We often blame our procrastination habits for not having things done, but we can ‘take the bull by the horns’ and¬†resolving those mental barriers.

The first step in this process is to identify which type of procrastinator are you. In this article they suggest there are 5 types:

The Perfectionist
This procrastinator is trying to avoid being embarrassed by mistakes or judged. They may spend too much time on one component of a project, failing to manage their time properly, or avoid the project altogether, then rush to finish it at the last minute. Of course, this may increase the likelihood of making mistakes.

The Impostor
Afraid of being revealed as unqualified or inferior, this procrastinator puts off doing anything to avoid that risk.

The Dread-Filled
When work is boring or unpleasant, we may procrastinate just to avoid doing it. If you hate what you’re doing or you find it mind-numbing, it’s tough to get motivated to take action.

The Overwhelmed
Sometimes, there’s just too much to do, and it’s hard to figure out where to start.

The Lucky One
Some people believe they do their best work under pressure, so they procrastinate until their back is up against the wall. If they have a history of doing this without consequence, they’ve essentially been rewarded for procrastinating.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these types?  Identify your three root causes for postponing your work. Be mercilessly honest with yourself and write them down.

For example I have noticed that number two often surfaces in my case. Since I have so many interests and I’m always curios, want to learn and share my findings – the environment might not always agree with me. It sometimes impacts my work that I end up not doing something at all. But on the other hand, this blog is also a great medium for me to beat this habit and things are getting better. You don’t always have to be qualified or master in the field in order for your opinion to count or that you are any less creative, artful, ext.

And number 4…if I have too much to do, it really makes me nervous and impacts the quality I deliver. So, I’m aware of my priorities, what and when I need to do. This wasn’t always the case¬†but experience (and my health) taught me to ease down, make a choice between two or three important things and stick to it.

So, once you identified your type, the next step is for you to find interesting, motivating ways to replace your procrastination triggers.

1.First imagine how does look like your perfect productive and creative day.

What elements do you need to accomplish that? Write that down – every detail you think might play a crucial role. How much more do you think you would be able to achieve? How would that make you feel at the end of the day?

Now look at your average day and see where is the biggest mismatch.

Are you spending too much time on social media, watching TV? Do you sleep enough? Are you eating enough nutritious food? That everything adds up to you creative power and energy.

2. Do you spend too much time on one component of your work?

If I ever fall into this trap, I simply distance myself and move on to the other part of work. Time brings other perspective and the ability to find satisfying solution. Once you come back to it, probably you will resolve what’s been bugging you.

3. Is your schedule overcrowded?

Lighten up your schedule – not everything needs to be done today, by you. Find ways to delegate some tasks and free your time.

4.Your work load is to big for you to swallow?

Brake your tasks in small, bite-size chunks – it will help you beat that feeling of overwhelm and it will be easier for you to track the progress.

5.What is that one small thing you can do today to get you closer to delivering your project?

It can be something simple like organizing your stuff – it will give you the¬†impression of progress and it will become easier to tackle ‘heavier’ parts of project.

Try these tactics, it will certainly improve the quality of you work.

How do you battle procrastination? Any tips? Please share 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.

secret_goodwriter

We all know that nobody is born as a good writer. It is a constant process of becoming. And I do believe that the difference between good and bad writers it’s not about the skill or gift. It’s not even about the number of written or published pieces. The key word we are looking for is persistence.

Good writer is writing – no matter how many times he fails or writes crappy work. He is there showing up every day, practicing and trying to improve himself. Not only writing, but everything that goes with writing.

In that sense, I think that biggest secret every good writer knows and we often forget is how good writer treats his bad writing. First, he takes time to write, erase, rewrite, edit, tailor every word to what’s need to be written. And how does he know what’s need to be written? He is attuned to his inner-self and follows the voice that drives him to write. Once you master to recognize that voice, you will know if what you wrote is good or bad.

The second essential part here is also his relationship to criticism. He is persistent, not afraid to try, to let his work be judged by the public eye. He knows how to tame his ego and accept constructive advice that can only help him become better and improve his writing.

Good writer is not writing because there is nothing else to do or simply he likes recreationally to scribble. There is ingrained need in him that he has to tell something, his story needs to be written. It’s not a job. It’s not a work. It’s almost like breathing.

Many writers do achieve certain level in their skill and they are determined that it’s all there is. They believe, by default anything they write is good and not subjected to alteration. In reality, what happens is that fear of failure is greater than desire to produce really good piece which requires additional effort and time. And frankly, often their writing is not even close to be good as they think.

Being defensive about the quality of your work is not going to make you a good writer.

So what can you do?

You can make a decision to be different and take responsibility for your writing. Go and write that extra page that many aspiring writers are not prepared to. Put an extra hour and improve that paragraph that has been bugging you. Be brave and send your poem to that journal you’ve been reluctant to do for so many months.

That’s how you become a better writer: with stillness to listen and eagerness to change. Are you ready?


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.