4 reasons why ‘fake it till you make it’ is bad advice for writer

fake_writer

Have you ever read your words for a couple of times and thought “Oh my God, this is really bad, this really sucks!” ? Well it happens to every writer from time to time – that his own thoughts seem strange to him, like he’s faking his own writing!

The truth is, many of us struggle to represent themselves as who they are. They’ll rather follow the trends on social media, rambling about safe topics and not expressing their real opinions. Why? We all have that ingrained need to be liked, loved, accepted – if possible by everybody.

And that my friend it’s simply Sisyphean venture. Many do try to ‘fake till they make’ – build a readership and ‘when the time is right’, they’ll start to write what they really think and feel. Well, there is a slight problem with this approach: If you only follow the crowd, your words are just another minuscule drop in the ocean of the sameness.

I do believe that we as writers have a responsibility to say and write our mind – being that in science, history, poetry or religion. Expressing our opinions in bold, courageous way is not easy, but that’s how change happens. That’s how we open doors to new opportunities, and connect with people we never new existed.

People will care about your words if they can sense your honesty and belief behind them.

And here today, let me share with you what I think is (also in my own case) 4 main reasons we sometimes feel like we deceived our own writing:

  1. You apologize for who you are.

You have probably noticed that brave writers, with strong words and opinions – just don’t give a damn what other people think of them. They don’t apologize for who they are.

They own their opinions and perspective as a part of their own identity. So neither should you hide yourself behind nicely packed words with silky ribbon. Being bold in your writing is being able to take a stand and give yourself permission to share your story.

At the beginning of writing this blog, I was scared – what on earth a geophysicist has so important to say about poetry? But maybe there’s the catch – it offers completely different point of view from someone who studied English literature or creative writing. And as the blog began to grow so did my confidence to more openly share my opinions, intimate stories, struggles. Because that’s what writers do. You never know how your writing will reach and touch someone else.

  1. You are afraid to be vulnerable.

I know, world can be a cruel place. When you are completely open in your writing, everything you are becomes naked and so fragile to every negative comment, rejection, criticism… But this is the part of being a real writer. No matter how many slaps in your face you get, you are still there, showing up, continuing your work and firmly standing behind your words. Don’t be afraid to write about what you feel, what you experienced – it is real to you.

At the beginning of writing this blog I also clang towards safe, general topics. Yet with time, I also felt a need to share more personal experiences I got through poetry and I can tell you it is really liberating. As the act of writing is so fulfilling, so it is being able to show everyone how that wonderful, simple craft or art – you can call it whatever you like, is an amazing tool available to everyone. Everyone! And this blog simply transformed itself into a mission to make that more approachable and understandable to people. And I share some of my painful experiences where poetry directed me to the path of healing. I am vulnerable in my writing but it also has a purpose that’s much stronger and bigger than my fear of being hurt.

  1. You strive towards non-existent perfectionism.

Not good enough. That is the sentence we repeat like mantra and  I believe is the greatest enemy to creativity. As writers we sometimes put so high standards in front of us, that we cloud our reasonable judgment – in times we don’t even see how we are putting the bars higher and higher.

There’s no such thing as perfect writing. There is honest writing, fueled with emotion, passion, purpose and belief. That’s what you should strive for.

  1. Somewhere along the way you lost the intention that drives your writing and it’s hard to get back on track.

You can recognize that this topic is repeating in many of my posts, because I know how it is important  to know why you write. Your writing should seek to contribute, offer different perspective, encourage, inspire, support, analyze / synthesize information or simply to entertain.

Once you become clear with that, you can easily translate vision into a writing goal – then you produce meaningful work.

Do you feel like fake sometimes in your own work? What are your thoughts on this topic? Please share in the comments below.


If you liked this post and you are interested in getting more inspiration for your creativity, sign up for our free monthly newsletter. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook .

Advertisement

NaPoWriMo day 16: I wrote myself down

on this paper,

 

in this poem you are reading.

But I’m not in the words or letters:

I’m in the chuckle, right there,

in the left corner of your lips

as you are reading this;

 

I’m the silliness

which makes you want to turn your head

and forget everything previously said.

 

I wrote myself down

on this paper,

As I’m the poet without words and letters

armed only with parchment, ink and  silky feathers.

I’m just the messenger of an emotion

flying on the wings of his total devotion,

To let you see that life is

to be enjoyed, fully

it’s a precious gem, given to you

only meant for you

to shine purely.

 

Maja S. Todorovic

7 tips for improving your creative writing skills

budington kelland

As a writer, you don’t want to be just good or average. You want to be better; you want to improve your skills and you want to have your own recognizable style. Well, all that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes courage, perseverance, consistency in your writing attempts – no matter the rejections, lack of time or inspiration. Your writing can improve with practice and I will share here some tips you might find helpful:

1.Don’t find time – make time for your writing

As I said in the above introductory paragraph, it’s of great importance that you schedule regular time for your creativity, every day. When you have an idea, jot it down – don’t ignore it and let it flourish on your paper. You never know when inspiration will strike, so be prepared with little notebook by your side.

2. Don’t fear rejection

Show the world your creative power – maybe through blog, writing platforms or even through writing journals and open competitions. It’s a great way to practice your writing, refine your own style and maybe your story, poem, article gets published and recognized by editors – you don’t have anything to lose.

3.Join the community

There are many forums and other forms of networks where you can practice along with other fellow writers as response to different topics and prompts. It’s a great opportunity to get feedback about your writing and share your struggles and accomplishments.

4. Challenge yourself

As a poet you might try short story writing. It will provoke your thinking, channel your ideas in different directions. The more you step out of your comfort zone, the more your writing will mature and grow.

5.Read a lot; and then read some more!

Reading is a prerequisite to any good writing. It will not only enrich your vocabulary, but it will give you confidence that you can write too; that you can improve your writing skills and that there is experience and emotion residing inside of you, a story that needs to be told and shared with the world.

6.Feed your soul with some art

Visit museums, exhibitions, go to concerts and listen to music; dance and sing – enjoy other expressions of creativity as it can further inspire your writing. Diverse emotions that come from different senses can generate a feeling that we are creative beings and sometimes that is all you need for writing ideas to spark and come forth into your consciousnesses.

7.Don’t try to invent hot water – every time!

What I mean by this is that many writers are afraid that they are not original enough; that something similar already exists, that every story and poem is already written and told. But I want to remind you that you are unique person with unique points of view and unique experiences. No one can steal and copy that. As long as you are true to yourself it will be reflected in your writing.

How do you work on improving your writing? Please share your experiences in the comments below.


If you liked this post and you are interested in getting more inspiration for your creativity, sign up for our free bimonthly newsletter.

 

7 alternative business models that every writer should consider

Tim_O'Reilly

Once you have written your book, promoted and eventually got some satisfactory sales – is not the place where job around your book is finished. No, no 🙂 actually, this is an opening opportunity for you further to establish and build a credible business around your book. You might also think that this is applicable only to non-fiction authors, but it doesn’t have to be. Even as a fiction writer, there is a lot you can share with people and teach what you know. And you can translate that in multiple revenues of income. Mostly this falls into category of product-service-system business models, where around the product you offer, your clients/customers can enjoy  variety of related services.

Here is the list of interesting business model variations that I think every published author should consider:

  1. Speaking opportunities. Published book in your area of interest gives you the opportunity to position yourself as an expert in the given field. Through established and growing relationships, networks and community you can gain speaking opportunities and expand your writing business.
  2. Coaching. Are you good at your writing? Or you published a book about something else you are good at? Well there are other people who could benefit from your knowledge. This is an excellent way of starting an online coaching business – you can easily and effectively do your coaching using skype (facetime, ext.) and help people from all around the world.
  3. Online courses, webinars, training sessions. This is quite similar to  coaching, but you have a bit larger audience: you can use your book as the foundation for an online training session or workshop. This is an excellent opportunity to virtually deliver educational programs and gain international clients.
  4. Subscription/membership program. Your book can be a foundation for a membership program where you offer additional exclusive content only to subscribers (on a monthly basis for example). Being your content “in the how to” category or short stories series, this is an excellent chance to secure steady stream of passive income.
  5. Information products. Every book can be easily upgraded/transformed in a workbook, mobile app, podcast..
  6. Certification. If you have developed your own techniques and methodologies that are effective in some way, you can offer certification programs to consultants/writers/coaches who want to teach your methods. In a way they are becoming your ambassadors, promoting further your business and brand.
  7. Online portal/journal. If you like to couple your love of writing with research you can start your own portal or journal, related to topics you are interested in. It is seen as an excellent opportunity to engage with other writers and generate valuable and interesting content. It can vary from poetry to retail or politics. Nevertheless, depending on the traffic your site generates you can ‘sell’ space on your website to interested third parties for advertisements.

Each of these models is a way that writer can deeper explore real entrepreneurial possibilities. Each of them require further time and investment. Yet the purpose of this article is to emphasize that inclination and affection for writing doesn’t have to end there: it can further fuel our creativity and combined with other talents (being that ours or other’s people) can lead to results with much broader impact.

3 tips to recognize your authentic writing voice

grillet

Your writing has a color, sound, feel…just as your natural voice. It translates who you are and is your tool for communication. Making some effort into “crafting and fine tuning” your writing voice is worth your time and energy. It doesn’t matter are you a content developer, fiction writer or you blog just for a hobby, it is essential for you to find that uniqueness inside of you – express it and let it live.

There are some tricks you can employ and that can guide you towards your better writing – better you writing.

Some of the first things you need to ask yourself is who is reading your stuff? Who is your audience? When you are writing, try to imagine your ideal reader and write according to that feeling. What would your reader interest? What would make them smile? What would make them think deeper? What kind of value you can bring to your reader?

The next important thing is to pay attention to how do you feel while writing. Does it exhaust you or it invigorates you? Is it like something you MUST do or is something playful, enjoyable for you to do?

How honest and open are you while writing? Are you always finely wrapped in your security blanket or you explore topics and genre that are out of your comfort zone? That’s good. People can sense in your writing when you are open or you are playing on the safe side. It can be a huge motivation to make your writing worth attention and reading. Being you and being vulnerable is OK – people can more relate to you in such way. We all know that our stories are governed by our subconscious mind. We all have unresolved inner conflicts, doubts, insecurities. Give yourself permission to say things in your own way. You need to own your writing and don’t hide behind other people’s opinions and words. That’s being authentic and unique.

And finally, ask yourself is this something I would like to read? Your answer is the best guidance in which direction your writing is going.

Do you think you have found your authentic writing voice? Tell us about it in the comments.

8 tips for writing a killer author bio (even if you haven’t published anything yet)

mark-twain

Couple of years ago, a good friend of mine, an artist, came with a request to help her write a resume for an upcoming exhibition she wanted to apply for. Now, writing a resume is not such a big deal, but when you have somebody at the beginning of their artistic career (with only 1 exhibition) and this exhibition she was applying for, was supposed to be held in Louvre, then it is a big deal – at least for artists. And it has to be remarkably written, just as her masterpiece. It was quite a challenge, but I knew her for a long time (we grew up together) and we had to start from somewhere. Certain approaches we applied, eventually paid off (her bio was very much praised as her art) and these approaches can work for any type of biography – including that of a writer.

Beside some minor details about education and study field, I was not left with much to work with: only one exhibition behind her, so what do you write about then?

My first tip is:

  1. Mention the most relevant professional, educational, travel, or personal experiences: what is special about you.

It has to resonate with your audience and the occasion for which you are writing your resume (you can adjust and rewrite your bio according to the current needs). My friend, she used to travel a lot, was great admirer of history and architecture, so we included that. Same applies to writers. If you are writing non-fiction about health issues, than include your personal story. If you are writing a novel, give some juicy details what inspired the idea –  you get the picture. Your biography has to look and sound both human and professional and the trick is to find the balance between the two. Once again, it’s about pulling in the details which will resonate with your readers/editors and which fit adequately with the topics you’re writing about.

  1. Always ask someone who knows you very well about your qualities, skills, what distincts you from other people and include that in your bio.

We tend to be very subjective and overly critical. Observations from other people can be very helpful.I knew that my friend is very skilled with hands, for example (she could make anything you imagine), so I emphasized her knowledge of work with materials, tools, experimenting with textures and colors. Around that we carefully crafted a short story that was about the work she was submitting. And at the end it turned out very well.

Also, she had a lot of pieces that she developed in free time, but never seen the eyes of the public. So, the second thing we did, we developed a basic website where we published the pictures of her other work as well. We included the link in the biography so she could showcase the spectrum of her work – not only sculptures, but sketches, oil paintings, everything that represented her and her work. That contributed to her uniqueness and artistic individuality.

The same can apply to writers:

  1. If you are not already a published writer, build a basic website or blog where you can showcase excerpts of your writings (you reading this probably already have a blog) so try to reorganize your blog to showcase your best work and include the link in your bio.

Also, if you haven’t published anything yet, it’s hard to get reviews and testimonials. What you can do:

  1. Use the comments that people leave you on your website and social media as a testimonial. I’ve seen many writers – entrepreneurs doing exactly that, and it’s paying off.
  1. If you are part of any writing/literally organization, group (even forum) – list that in your bio, as it adds to your credentials. Another plus in an editor’s eyes is your affiliation with writers’ organizations. If you are not, join one! My friend was a member of national artistic network and that detail added to her professionalism.

Now, some technical stuff:

  1. Always write in third person. It kind of makes it easier to talk about yourself and your achievements. You should give it a try.
  1. Keep it short.

Editors, committees, even your readers don’t have much time to read a novel in your biography. Try to be concise, yet informative.

  1. The opening line should be straightforward and meaningful (in simple words telling who you are): if your degree is relevant, then note it.

This is where you captivate your reader (editor). You have to introduce yourself and this is usually the turning point. Never start with personal details – it will just make you look unprofessional.

For the end, apply this trick: read your bio out loud. How does it sounds, feel? You will know you nailed it, when it simply feels right!

 

 

 

 

 

An invitation to participate

As an attempt to make this blog even more dynamic, beside my regular posts on the benefits of poetry for life and business, I’m launching new category “Daily verse with purpose” that will feature exciting, motivational and inspirational verses from various poets. This is also invitation to all interested readers, poets and writers to submit their favorite rhymes, verses from different poets that they would like to see featured as “Daily verse with purpose”. Depending on the response I will try to include all your favorite poets – as we all need some additional encouragement with incoming rainy and cold days 🙂 Your suggestions you can submit to businessinrhyme at gmail dot com.

Hopefully, this will be a growing community for all of us where we could submit our own inspirational quotes, poems, verses and ext.

For starters, I’ve chosen “Climb ‘Til Your Dream Comes True” by Helen Steiner Rice.

HS Rice