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.


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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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As we are celebrating World Poetry Day, this is a quick reminder that each poem you write is reflection of you in that particular moment. That holds its own beauty and value that nobody can’t deny.


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Writing is an act of desired hope and hidden enthusiasm.

Maja S. Todorovic


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fear_writing

Don’t let fear paralyze
your writing. Instead,
think of legacy you’ll leave behind.

Maja S. Todorovic


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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.


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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 🙂


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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?


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My dear readers,

I hope that for all of you this year has started on the right track, with enough energy to tackle any problem and challenge coming your way, with positive thoughts and enthusiasm to fulfill your writing and other creative plans.

Year 2016 was a great learning path giving me the opportunity to connect with many of you, get acquainted with your work, ideas and writing. It is very inspiring to be part of such community and simply have that opportunity to improve my own writing and creative skills.

As my small ‘thank you’ to all of you, I have developed and compiled an e-book, that is all about getting inspiration and creativity nudge for our writing and brainstorming. It consists of 31 daily prompts that you can use anyway you like. I know we all face lack of inspiration, doubt, discouragement and procrastination from time to time. This is my little way of helping you combat those situations and I hope you’ll like the exercises. Many of the challenges in the book you already know, but there are also some new additional ways to move in the creative flow, which you will also find in the book.

get-busy-with-writing

If you are signed up to Business in Rhyme newsletter, you already have the access to the book. For all of you who would like to receive the e-book directly, you can do that by following this link and signing up for newsletter. You can opt anytime.

I also encourage you to share this information as we can all work together to improve our writing and enjoy our creativity more. Your comments, feedback and ideas for improvement are all appreciated and welcomed.

Business in Rhyme also has a lot of plans for improvement and moving more into professional realm, so stay tune for novelties and makeover. 🙂


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criticism_writing

Rejection. Bad review. Returned papers and manuscripts. All these essentially we consider as a bad news. And it’s not fun to experience it. You feel naked and exposed, your heart is pounding, probably you are blushing and even feel embarrassed. “How did this happen“, you might slur for a second, but the only thing you can actually think of is how hurt, disappointed and discouraged at the moment you are.

Today I want to share with you a different look at the criticism that might help you deal with these situations easier in the future.

I believe, the first and foremost thing we need to do is to accept that it is simply inevitable –  there is very small likelihood that everybody will like and approve of your writing. As we are able to appreciate praise for our work so there is also the other side of the coin: we need to face there is always a chance that someone will not find our work suitable.

The second truth we often forget is that there is nothing personal about it. There is no conspiracy against you and your work. Nobody hates your poems and your stories are not boring. But the problem here is that we as writers always offer something that is part of us – thoughts, emotions or knowledge. Any criticism that comes our way, we might translate as a personal attack – to some point that many writers give up creating at all.

One simple thought that helped me a lot at the beginning of my academic career is that any professor, writer or reviewer of my work was also a beginner. He was also rejected and criticized. With years, I managed to write and work with many people I admired as a student. But it takes time and persistence.

Another thing I learned along the way is to differentiate constructive criticism and when someone is just plain rude. These are two completely opposite things: constructive criticism is oriented towards offering helpful insights and advice, while when someone just bashes your work to satisfy their own ego issues – well these type of people you want to avoid completely. These are all merely opinions and you always have the opportunity to explore the source – where is this criticism coming from, is it really applicable to your work, how reviewer /editor is really competent to analyze your type of work. And from that point decide how to accept or deal with criticism.

The third truth that will serve you the most is – take what you can from that experience and simply let go. In order to continue writing and creating, this is the crucial step. If you got honest feedback about your work, take a step back and think how it can help you in your future work; how you can use it to improve your writing and creativity.

Any negative situation is your chance to learn and grow. You are the only one in charge of your self-confidence, so keep writing.


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