5 Super-Sized Tips For Encouraging Your Inner Writer

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You are a writer. Creator of stories. You fabricate realities–transforming letters and words into DNA strands; giving birth to life and breath from your imagination. By your skilled hand and chosen tools—pen, paper and keyboard—you pull dreams and fantasies from the atmosphere and fashion them into literary portals through which everyday people can book momentary vacations: temporary escapes.

Unfortunately, in a world of constant remakes, recycled and retold stories, reprocessed and  regurgitated content—though creativity in some areas of the Arts, and advancements in various regions of technologies may shine bright,—originality suffers a long time creative-imagination drought. As a result, the business of writing has caused many exceptional writers to go on hiatus, while others leave what they love, to find different ways to create an income.

Still, more and more writers struggle with their craft. Most crave encouragement, inspiration, and motivation to push forward. Others need to hear some confirmation that it’s okay to take on other jobs, including freelance writing jobs to pay the bills, while they continue working through their literary works. Sometimes, it’s the simple, free and practical tips that are the most help.

Here’s 5 Super Simple, Yet Highly Motivational & Practical Tips For Encouraging Your Inner Writer.   

1. See Your Own Work In Print

On a few occasions I’ve taken various collections of my poetry, shorts, devotionals, and essays, sent them to http://PrintingPeach.ca so, once I got them back as a printed booklet I could flip through the pages, not only to get a feel for its flow—and make changes so the whole work reads better—but also for the feeling it give me to see and hold, in my hands, the project in a finished (though first-print draft only) form. There’s nothing that encourages you more to work through the kinks; break through any block, and submit your work, than holding and seeing it in print form. It can be the sunrise in your long literary night helping you to find new fresh momentum for reaching the finish line.

2. Professional Business Cards

If you don’t have professional business cards, WHY? There’s really no reason for a writer—or any kind of creative for that matter—not to have a business card on their body at all times. It’s never when you plan on handing them out that you end up being asked; it’s those times when you don’t expect it all that you run into THE person who could change your writing future. Then, if you don’t have any cards, you feel stupid. And you should. Cards are easy to make and really cheap. I get mine from VistaPrint.com. Don’t be the one who misses that amazing opportunity because you wrote your contact info on a napkin and your contact accidentally throws it away after needing it to clean up a productive sneeze. You can spend $10 right now, for 500 cards.

That’s basically the cost of one dinner out or, two fast food lunches or, two venti caramel macchiatos. You can do that.

3. Take Head shots

Some writers come by it naturally, others really get uncomfortable with the thought of having someone take photos of them. Either way, once you have your head shots finished and you’re looking at them, it just feels good. I was browsing the web looking for character ideas and I stumbled across smilesunlimited.ca and thought, ‘you know, it’s time for some updated head shots.’ I was dreading it at first, but afterwards I really liked how they turned out. Some were professional-business, and others were just us having fun. It was great. There’s a wonderful, ‘I’m a creative professional’ feeling that comes with having your own professional head shots done. There’s also great to have for interviews, speaking engagement advertisements, and to use on your website, social medias, and blog posts.

Here’s a few of those goofy shots.

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4. Your Blog

If you have a blog than this point may be a commonsense point, but there are still way too many writers that I run into that ‘just haven’t gotten to it yet’. Most businesses have a website and more and more are finding the benefits of having blogs. Even real estate agents, like KimAlvarez.ca., have blogs, and they’re finding ways to make their websites and services reach more clients through relevant social campaigns.

A blog, for writers, makes perfect sense. A blog, after all IS a result of content creation. It helps people, fans, editors, and potential clients connect with you; it allows you to showcase your literary skill; helps you solidify yourself as a professional and—something I never planned on when I started mine—it can open doors (if you’re open to it) for you to pick up some extra cash and experience, writing guest posts, being featured on other sites, and writing ghost posts for other companies.

I have 5 blogs, [TastingThePlanet / AShotOfLiteraryCaffeine / SippingOnLiteraryEspresso / SamTheWriter’s Tiny Tips For Writers / Perception Speaks ] (a three special project ones I can’t mention at the moment)  and I also write ghost posts (when I can handle the workload) for 44 different national and international businesses and storytellers. I hate that they’re ghost written, so I can’t take credit for my work, but I love knowledge and I’ve learned so much about so many companies and authors; sharpened my skills around conducting interviews, investigative reporting, journalism, deep research, data mining, conducting various market analysis, uncovering stories and hidden people and information; furthering my experience and success with many writing processes, social media strategies, SEO, B2B, B2C, and all the other alphabetical business combinations (ha ha I’ve been wanting to throw that in somewhere).

I’ve learned how to write effective newsletters, employee manuals and handbooks, create effecting social media strategies that have seen measured increase in business connections (in two businesses I created a multi-social-platform strategy that saw a 300% and 325% increase in social traffic–which specifically resulted in greater sales…one was over a 3 month period of time, the other took 6 months. However, the average business strategist that many companies spend between $60,000 on east coast, $40,000 in mid-west, and $80 – $120,000 on the west coast (Annual Salary) can’t usually ever boast a 200% increase in an entire year.) I say that to say this: I learned these skills while conducting interviews and working as a ghost for many international companies.

Most of my ‘luck’ came from interactions with my blogs. Blogs, my friends, are powerful tools.

5. Revisit Reader / Fan Comments

Where have you posted your work? It is on a website? Writer’s community site? A blog? On your Facebook or other social media? Maybe you have some work in a writing competition? In most of these cases there’s a place for readers to add comments or feedback. Go visit those comments. When the writing life gets hard and stressful—and it does, unless you’re brand new to the writer’s life and haven’t submitted much—the encouraging words you’ve received on past works can revive a weary spirit.

A fictional literary poetry project that I started a few years back started to wear on me. I loved what I was writing, but life was demanding other things from me. I almost lost faith in my work, until one day I received a notification that someone had commented on a past poetry work. It was an email from a University English Professor asking for my permission to share a few works with his students, because “I am very inspirited with how you merged the literary life with a romantic relationship with the artist’s muse…” This made me feel wonderful. I looked through a few other comments and found a treasury of reader appreciation for my works. I printed 27 pages of comments off to keep around me as a reminder of the beauty and escape my work has provided for others.

Here’s a few of those comments:

“I really enjoyed this poem. ‘Kiss me My Mistress Muse, your lips are the ebb and flow of the art-spring we call literary life.’ This really sums up the passion of the prose.” – Janet R.M

“‘A ray of sunlight cracks through the morning cloud cover. It touches the earth several miles away, and works its way towards me. It’s you my Love, and it’s even more beautiful because the rest of the world is still sleeping.’That is what makes it so special. that is what keeps the phone from ringing. That is what makes the coffee taste right. Thank you for this.” – Opeo Tao T.

“Yes I’ll take this dance! I agree with Jordan, it has been waaaaaaaay tooooo long since your last post. I got this one yesterday while I was in my office and it made my whole day. It really did, so I went back and read, “I Will Love You,” and “I Feel You Tonight,” and it really took my breath away.  You need to keep writing, I want to keep reading! – Melody W..

“Amazing post! absolutely amazing.” – Lua

“ ‘All of life moves and lives and begins to create an orchestra of beautiful existence…’ Yes, it makes perfect sense to me…Merry Christmas.” – Jingle

With such amazing reader / follower/ fans, how could a writer not be encouraged and super inspired to keep writing?

I encourage you to keep doing what you love. Keep writing because you must, and know that it’s ok to do what you must to keep writing. Writing is in your blood. Writing is not an option for you, it’s a necessary for you as exhaling. If you could no longer write, you would cease to be you.

You’re a superhero of sorts. The greatest kind. The kind that challenges and shapes perceptions. Keep fighting for creative inspiration. Keep recording your ideas and dreams, even if you feel like you’re the only one who believes in what you do. The truth is that there’s a whole world full of reader / follower / fans starving for a writer, like you, to save their day.

Write, Write, Write, and submit.

Cheers to you Writer.

-SamTheWriter

Let’s Connect:

Online – SamTheWriter.Com

Twitter – @SamuelWConnelly

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Writing Junk to Become the Artist You Were Meant to Be!

My mornings start with a pen, paper, and a cup of coffee!

My mornings start with a pen, paper, and a cup of coffee!

“When you write, don’t say, “I’m going write a poem.” that attitude will freeze you right away. Sit down with the least expectation of yourself; say “I am free to write the worst junk in the world.” You have to give yourself the space to write a lot without destination…If every time you sat down, you expected something great, writing would always be a great disappointment. Plus that expectation would also keep you from writing.”

Natalie Goldberg/ Writing Down the Bones



I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve shot myself in the foot, and probably been my own biggest source of writers block by my determination to write something amazing when ever I get sat front of my computer.

I, like many of you, write a lot. I am currently working on three novels, updating and re-editing my short stories (over 300) to start re submitting, working on two collections of poetry, writing three or four articles for the Examiner every week, devotionals and encouragement articles for The CypressTimes, and I send off 3 poems every four days to a card company, because they pay good for greeting card poems. Not to mention trying to keep up with my website, and blogs, and my social networks. I am also beginning a new international project called I AM POETRY: Poetry to Save the World. I am still collecting names of poets, pen and ink, pain, and sketch artists, as well as tattoo artists (so if you are one, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you some info, and you can decide if you want to get involved..sam@samthewriter.com) It’s sad but I do have a Twitter account, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, and I frequent FaithWriters, and other networks.

As a freelance writer it is my goal to sell enough articles, poems, and short stories to get me enough cash to buy some more time to finish one of my WOPs (Work In Progress), so every time I sit in front of my computer, I want what ever I am writing to be good (which means) salable. But that is not always going to happen, as we all know. I remember one night I submitted a poem to a editor, (who I had just sold three poems to, and got rave reviews) and he sent me an e-mail back saying, “Thank you Sam, for completely wasting my time. You wrote it fast, submitted it quick, and it is literary …”let’s use the word ‘poo’ here, it’s less colorful that the one he chose to use. I learned my lesson.

The key to writing great and producing real literary art more often, is by being consistent with our craft. Feel free to wake up in the morning, get your cup of coffee or tea, sit in front of your computer, and just write what ever is on your mind. It may turn out to be a poem, a great short story, the beginning of a novel, a blog entry, or a nasty piece of poo; and you know what: that is just fine.


Feel free to write stuff that stinks. Be ready and expect junk to pour out of you from time to time. It’s like literary detox. Pour yourself out on paper, over the key board. Because as you begin to do this, you’ll discover that you’re setting yourself free to the artist that you were born to be. In Natalie Goldberg’s book, Writing Down the Bones, she shares a story about how a young writer who lived in the same apartment complex came over to visit and Natalie let her take a bunch of her old note books. After a few days of reading the girl came back and told Natalie how reading some of her early ‘crap’ encouraged her. It made Natalie more real to the young writer. It also made the dream of someday becoming a great writer something to be grasped.


Everyone one has their junk. I have a lot of poo to put on paper, and so do you. Get to writing that nasty stuff. It will help shape you, make you, give you direction, hone your skills, discover the artist within, and most of all, by just letting go and letting it all out, it will help you set yourself free to be who you were meant to be.
Above all, have fun with the process and write, write, write.


SamTheWriter,
Signing off.
sam@samthewriter.com

The Poetry of Existance

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My boy Josiah, sitting in front of a sweet picture of of forest.


“For the first time  I noticed trees and flowers. I learned  names: Russian Olive, elm, oak, peony, geranium, petunia, marigold. Details  mattered. Cracks on the sidewalks, broken glass, worn stop signs, everything spoke to me. Rock, leaf, car. I rode rushes of thought with my cheap pen. I gripped a spiral notebook.

“Poetry, I whispered, poetry”

– Natalie Goldberg/ from essay ‘How Poetry Saved My Life

Life is poetic

I would not be wrong to say that life is poetry in motion.

This month has been a great month for me. I have been able to stare into the mirror and see myself through eyes challenged to see the motion of poetry being the fluid of moment by moment life. Although the personal challenge I made of myself was to read a poem and write a poem everyday (And the two poems could not be one in the

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same), the journey has been a journey into self-realization.

When you look at the world as a poet, you have no choice but to open your mind and thought process to the possibility that everything happens for a reason and, be it good reasons or bad reasons, there are a multitude of lessons, like parables, in every action and reaction, and each paints its own living artwork for display.

As a poet, you challenge yourself to listen to the world, to open your ears -those unseen story catchers – and get quiet enough to hear and catch the stories of humanity, and the mysteries of the ‘whys’ and ‘how-comes’ of mankind’s hardest issues.
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When you open up to the spirit of poetry, and step into the literary rivers of its motion, you can understand and see the beauty of life, and appreciate all its expressions of true art.

14600249Since this is National Poetry Month, I chose to celebrate with other poets, like Natalie Goldberg in her collection of poems, Top of My Lungs, Eugene Gloria, Drivers at the Short-Time Motel, Stephen Dunn’s, Different Hours(winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Billy Collins, Sailing Alone Around the Room, the young and amazing 51vjcgkdjrl_sl500_aa240_Eireann Corrigan, You Remind Me of You, and one of my personal favorite poets, the insanely wonderful Gregory Orr, Concerning The Book That Is The Body Of The Beloved, and How Beautiful the Beloved.

Sitting at my favorite coffee shop with book in one hand and Venti Americano (with a half inch cream and six 14596474splenda) in the other, I take my time and savor every poem. As I sit there finding pleasure in the the poems I’ve devoured and anticipating the joy of the next between my lips, pressed by my coffee stained teeth, turning page after page with my tongue I clear out of my mind anything that would hinder my ability to catch every word and letter breathed from the poets mouths and minds. 51hmfdqta8l_sl500_aa240_

It would be easy to swallow books whole, and then suffer from a bad stomach ache, like the 16 0z steak I put away Monday night with three bites, which eats at my guts now as I write. I do not remember what that meat tasted like, though my wife took hours to perfect it, to my own shame. So I force myself to take my time with the poem, careful not loose the meaning, so I do not forget the flavors, months from now.

The art of poetry, the poetry of art: life in action, poetry in motion, can add wonder, purpose, pleasure, and a sence of humanities creativity to each day, if we choose to take the time to allow it to change us. And it will change us, if we allow it to. I have answered the Muses’ call to put on the specitcals of the Artist, and see what it reveals.
Some poets write about the hard times they experienced growing up in a war torn country, some write about the beauty of nature, the pleasure of love and sex, or the wonder of innocents. I read a few poems yesterday from a book of poems that spoke out against the war. A few books over on the same shelf I read a poem about the freedom that comes with the blood of those who fight for it. Poetry speaks out through all humanity. It has no one special cause, but to promote life.

Poetry speaks in many languages, through all races; by both heroes and villains, the wealthy and poor, tyrants, terrorists, and freedom fighters. We are all brothers in humanity, and at times poetry and the spirit of creativity (the Muse, or God, or Passion) moves upon us and forces the best and worst of us to crack open, like the walls of a broken over filled dam, and create something beautiful.
There are still a few days in National Poetry Month left to challenge yourself to join the celebration of poets and artists. Challenge yourself this month to put on the same spectacles and see what the creative powers of art reveals.

Even if you miss it (National Poetry Month), the truth, the passion, the art, the love, the spirit, the poetry – never stops. The river never ceasing to flow. The artists never stop the celebration – hop in.

I’ll see you there.