Of Writers & Wroters: Pressing in to your Future or Settling Somewhere in your Past

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Where do you find the inspiration you need to make it to your writing desk faithfully? Is it your financial obligations pushing you forward? Is it your desire to prove everyone wrong who told you that you wouldn’t make a living as a writer; those family members and childhood friends who still crack little sarcastic jokes, asking when you’re going to get a ‘real job’? Are you in the fresh young love stage: you’ve recently discovered your passion for writing and have been caught in the honeymoon phase? Or, have you been writing long enough to realize that there’s nothing else able to bring real pleasure to your life than releasing the stories that are constantly being birthed inside you?

When I moved to Wichita Kansas from Northern California, I had a really hard time acclimating to the midwest culture. Over the next few years I became pretty impressed with Wichita’s music, art, and Independent film scene. Being excited about the art scene—and being the social butterfly that everyone says I am—I was invited to several Writers groups and I jumped at the offers.

Unfortunately, these groups didn’t bring any encouragement to me as a writer at all. In fact, after ‘hanging out’ at these so called ‘Writer’s Groups’ I ended up depressed with nothing to show for all the time I’d spent each week at these meetings. I wasn’t being encouraged to write. I wasn’t being encouraged to push myself; any encouragement I gave to the groups, to press on and believe that their best was yet to come, was shot down. I soon realized that:

(1) At these writing groups there wouldn’t actually be any writing happening

(2) There wouldn’t be any talk or challenging of each other to write

(3) Everyone was more than satisfied to live in the memories and stories of the few things they had written and had published somewhere in years long past.

The ones who had invited me to these groups, and those who filled the chairs in the quaint houses and local coffee shops where they met to tell their publishing stories from the ‘Good Old Days’—a time and place, within the stories of past moments. A place that I am not willing to live my future in—were all wonderful people. I love to sit and sip on a mug of hot coffee or tea and listen to their stories. I still do it today. I couldn’t, however, do it any longer as part of a ‘Writing Group.’ They were not writing groups; they were all reminiscing/talking groups—which were great for hanging out and reminiscing and talking. Not for writing or becoming better writers.

In a recent post, Gary Bizzo (www.garybizzo.com), shares an interesting quote from one of his friends. A quote that has been rolling around in my mind all morning:

“Some entrepreneurs are emotionally tied up in their smallness.”

Although Gary was using the quote to make a point about the potential that many small business owners miss out on because they’ve allowed themselves to find comfort in the ‘safety’ of what they are used to; the comfort zone of present success.

They’ve become satisfied living within the unsatisfying refuge of what they’ve already accomplished; giving themselves to the fact that thought that they’ve done their best, there’s nothing else to give, and they’ve accomplished all they are going to accomplish.

I don’t fit in with a group like that. You don’t fit in with a group like that. Those Writers (or I should say, Wroters) won’t be having cups of coffee or tea at 4 or5am—eyes barely open, still half dreaming—to continue working on their latest WIP; to edit pieces from the day before; to start their morning writing exercises; begin their routine submissions process, or—if like me or any number of literary Jedi out there—juggle the insanity of all-of-the-above.

Tenacity, Confidence, Addressing a Real Need.

These are what the patent specialists (www.2innovative.net) call “Key Concepts” when patenting business ideas. The same is true in the life of a writer.

  • TENACITY, to go against the flow; against the whispers and little cutting, sarcastic jokes; and against the temptation to find a home among the ‘Wroter’s Groups’ living in yesteryear. Tenacity to keep writing even when technical issues and computer crashes cause you to lose hundreds of thousands of words. Ouch, yes, I know and it’s happened to me too many times as well. That’s why God created Google Drive, iCloud Storage, BOX, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, and the Calitso it guys [ok maybe God didn’t create them but they can all be your literary salvation when your computer crashes.]
  • CONFIDENCE in your personal passion as a writer. The kind of confidence that propels you towards your computer, tablet, pen & paper, or typewriter every day to create the kind of literary magic that you do. It also takes confidence to respect your work enough to stay with it through edit and submission.
  • ADDRESSING A REAL NEED is at the heart of your talent. Humanity isn’t happy. Everyone is looking for happiness. Everyone is running after it as fast as they can; though no one is quite sure where to find it. Stories, books, novels, movies, comics, graphic novels, television shows and series, etc., ect., – these are the momentary escapes which, no matter how bad the economy is, continue to become more and more popular—and even more so when times are harder on people—because people want escape. People need their temporary escapes from reality to cope with a life that they’re not happy with. You and I are the writers, artists, filmmakers, who dream up and create those escapes.

Our creative talents and abilities create the alternate realities and escapes that fuel the mental vacations keeping the masses from becoming infected with the ‘crazies.’

For me, this is more than enough inspiration to meet my computer every morning over coffee. This is more than enough reason to keep romancing my Muse, to keep faithful with daily edits and rewrites; more than enough reason to keep submitting regardless of the rejections slips and resubmissions. With each published work we share another opportunity to offer hope and momentary relief to our fellow friends and family of humanity.

What inspires you to write?

What inspires you to keep meeting that computer each morning?

What inspires you to honor your heart, respect your purpose, fight for your freedom to be a creator?

I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers to you, Writers!

-Sam

@SamuelWConnelly

www.SamTheWriter.com 

#RiseOfTheWriters :2013-2014 The Year of The Writer

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#RiseOfTheWriters 2013-2014  

We were excited to hear words very similar to these come from Quentin Tarantino at the beginning of the year. This year has very much been a year for writers. What’s more exciting, is that the rest 2013, and looking into 2014, it only appears to get better and better for the Writer.

#RiseOfTheWriters – It’s a social movement. A call to writer’s by writer’s. A move to encourage writers to be who they were made to be. A move to share encouragement, to motivate each other to write and submit, write and submit, write and submit. There are industries, literary journals, trade journals, editors of magazines, news groups, greeting card publishers, filmmakers, and Publishing Houses, all asking for new materials, new writers, new ideas. It’s time now for you to answer.

There are great writers out there. We read their works and see their new books advertized all the time. Yet the more I travel collecting stories and sharing stories; the more I connect with quiet-coffeehouse-writers and secret writers the more I’ve met many many prolific writers. These are truly passionate writers, gifted, experienced in the literary form.

I’ve had the great pleasure to sit down with many wonderful writers who find themselves writing for so many different reasons. Some write because they cannot stop writing. Some are so passionate about their literary masterpieces that they cannot dream of doing anything else. Most have other full time jobs, but are compelled to write. Some no longer see themselves as ‘A Writer’ although they find themselves scribbling on breaks, late at night, or just because.

These Writers may not be published. Some were published years ago. Some stopping trying to have their works put in print because of a few rejections. Yet, they write. Why? Because they are Writers and Writers must Write, it is in our blood.

However the Moment of the Writer is here… The Planet Needs You!

#RiseOfTheWriters is a call to Writers to awaken to this Moment. This Moment is ours. There’s magic in this Moment. There’s a need in this Moment. There’s an open door into the infinite in this Moment. This Moment is mine, it’s yours.

There’s a Moment that has opened up to us Writers. A Moment where our Muses’ are bidding us to come to the dance floor again. To dance between the pages and create Moments for those – the Readers – who are calling out for a Moment of relief, a Moment of escape.

#RiseOfTheWriters is a networking of SuperHeroes. Those REAL superheroes who, like Gods, create Characters, places in time, planets, other species. Like Gods, creating words in sentences, phrases, stanzas, paragraphs, articles, and poems which reach deeply into the souls of mankind and release emotions.

#RiseOfTheWriters is the signal light in the night, the shout from the front lines, the CHARGE to you authors, journalists, poets, song writers, and Lovers of the Muse to pick up your pens and keyboards and start romancing your Muse– to start making Love to your Muse to start filling pages.

Where are you Greeting Card Poets, Song Writers, and Copywriters? Where are you Novelists, Screenwriters, short, flash, micro-fiction Aficionados? Where’s you Fiction-lit, Creative Non-fiction, Horror, Scifii, Romantics, Thriller, Mystery, and Inspirational Writers?

#RiseOfTheWriters is an invitation from this Writer to you, Writer. An invitation to get completely drunk and wasted on the intoxicants of your literary Love, your Muse– and make something happen. Will you lose it with me? Will you write and submit like men and women on fire? Like Titans, who have just remembered who they are, and Awakening to themselves again?

This is your Moment. This is our Hour. This is a call to an Awakening of the Literary Kind. To join with Writers all over the world – to encourage – to share knowledge (of industry needs, proper formatting, submission tips etc.)  – kind works – motivation to keep writing and submitting and highlights of successful moments?

I’m In.

Are You?

#Fight2Write

#RiseOfTheWriters

Let me know your in. What’s your passion? What do you write? HashTag #RiseOfTheWriters and soundoff with what you do and lets know that You’re In. I’d like to be an encouragement to you and will need your’s as well.

My Twitter is @SamuelWConnelly find me – help me find you.

 

HashTag (#) #RiseOfTheWriters to share What you do, and share highlights, and connect with other writers from around the world.

Example:

“ @SamuelWConnelly: I am poetry, fiction, short fiction, horror, thriller, scifi, etc. I’m IN!!! #RiseOfTheWriters ”

Are You In Need of help (Writing or Industry Questions) then HashTag (#) #Fight2Write with your question- and Writers with the answers will respond – just be ready to offer the knowledge that you may have to help another Writer.

Example:

“ @SamuelWConnelly: I’m looking for a place to submit my short dark fiction ‘ArborDay’ 4,032 Word? Who should I submit to? #Fight@Write ‘

or

“@SamuelWConnelly: I need help formatting my story (or poetry collection,etc.) #Fight2Write

or

“@SamuelWConnelly: This Writer’s Block is freakin kicking my butt. Help #Fight2Write

There are many literary journals, editors, publishers, filmmakers, businesses, publishing houses, greeting card publishers, trade journals, etc., that are looking for your literary masterpiece.

And with so many wars, the financial, political, & religious fights, and humanities need for an momentary escape; a mental vacation from all the crazy– your particular ability is being called upon.

Let’s gear up – pen in hand…and fly.

SamTheWriter

Signing Out — but not off

“Write like you believe that you’re saving the Planet”

                  – Me

Do you have a Writer’s Page? Please share the link.

I’ll be Highlighting other Writer’s Pages, Blogs, Twitters, FaceBooks, etc. too.

As many resources as possible so that we have maximum opportunity to succeed.

You can also find my My Mistress Muse Poetry Blog here.

I am having www.SamTheWriter.com updated too so it’s not just about me, but filled with resources for Writers and Connecting Writers with Writers, editors, publishers, literary agents, and a large collection of places to submit your various works.

You Can also find and connect with me on Facebook or Twitter here.

Don’t Miss The Magic!!!

Go ahead, make a wish. Do your best not to pass up this opportunity

Magic, for me, it’s the biggest and possibly most important part about the writing life. You create characters, events, towns, worlds, and moments. What is more magical than that. Recently one of my micro-fiction stories were published in an inspirational anthology. The story is called ‘The Mystery of the Artist‘, and I wrote it as part of a writing-prompt competition.

The short, is about the tree used to make the cross that Jesus was crucified on. The point of view was from the wood’s perspective of what was happening. The tree, wanting to be used for something great, now cut down and laying around, dried lumber. For me there was magic in the idea of this tree and it’s perspective of what was happening with this man, Jesus, and what made him so bad that everyone wanted him dead.

I never really thought much of the maybe 450-600 word short, but to my surprise I received a ton of feedback, and finally a request to publish it in the Best of FaithWriters collection, ‘Hidden In The Hymns’ by Winepress.

The story came from a seemingly insignificant moment. A moment when I was walking a bike path to think about all I had on my plate and how overwhelmed I was. A moment when I had so many writing deadlines that part of me really felt like just taking a huge break from writing.

As I sat there on an old wooden bench, thinking, and listening to the wind blow through the trees I put my head down and was going to just close me eyes when I noticed ‘J+C’ carved into the old bench. At first I wondered about who J and C were. Then I began to make up a story about them. In my mind I had created a story of young love and love lost, and how Jason Whitfield would come visit this path every year and sit on this bench and close his eyes and remember the magic lived and loved between him and his now passed on Love, Caroline.

After I wrote a few notes I thought about how amazing it is that an object, like the old wooden bench, being significantly insignificant in the scheme of life, can become a magical escape for someone like Jason, taking him back to earlier beautiful times.

Then I thought about the bench, and the wood, where it came from, and what life it may have had from sprout to tree. Even after its birth and death, it sits here with eternal purpose and meaning. That’s when I thought about the tree that would grow up, be cut down, and used to crucify a carpenter.

That magic gave birth to ‘The Mystery of the Artist’.

I hope that this little blurp is of some encouragement to you writers. Sometimes deadlines, or life, or other circumstances weigh on us and it can be easy to miss the magic that is quite literally all around us.

I want to encourage you to get out and walk around a bit, visit a park, walk a bike path, or sit in the back yard and give yourself the permission to dream a little. Find that magic around you, close your eyes and listen to it whisper in the wind, open you mouth and stick out your tongue and taste it, like falling snow flakes.

You are a writer, a person who creates moments for others. It’s important that you find the magical moments of life, and romance them, experience them, and then pour it out into your creative words so you can share them with the readers. That’s magic. That’s beautiful. That’s real. You did that!

Hope this Moment encourages you.

Write, write, write, and never quite. The world needs you.

-SamTheWriter,

signing off.

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.

Do It On Purpose, Or It Won’t Happen

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I recently had a friend e-mail me and ask me why I write so many articles and blogs about dealing with the obstacles that keep a writer from writing.

“Why not spend more time sharing your ideas about writing, and talk about the stuff you have sold.”

Maybe  she is right. I do like to write about all aspects of writing, but I think that I tend to spend so much time writing about the ‘obstacles’ because there are so many ‘would-be-writers’ out there that should be and could be writers, but are not.

So many creative minds quickly loose a real passion for the art because of all the obstacles. I have ran into way too many people that have handed me off a great story, at a coffee shop, e-mail, bookstore,etc., and it is a real shame to hear them say that they would love to write but do not have the time to pursue it.

There are thousands if not millions of amazing stories, right now, sitting somewhere, unpublished, and unenjoyed. I once read a statistic that said 89% of writers do not get published, because they do not follow through with the process.  I can believe that too. Published writers are published because they followed through.

Writing the actual story is the funnest part of be a writer for me, but it is not the only part of writing. Writing, is 75% writing and editing, 20% studying the market and writing a learning how to get your masterpiece in their hands, and 10% walk out and put it in the mail (or e-mail).

I sold a few poems this week. Between this week and last week I made $2,500. You know, that was worth every bit of the time it spent me to push ‘send’ on my keyboard to get those poems to the editor. It’s funny, but after I sent off a couple poems last week the editor e-mailed me back and said, “If you want to make money, and let your writing pay for you, you need to keep sending me stuff.”Not many editors will do that, but when I read it to my wife, jokingly, she said, “You have an open invite, if you can make that kind of money in a week or two, why are you not writing all the time. If I could writing like that, I’d be writing every single day.”

She is right. And I am.

I guess that this blog is really going to be about you. I want you to know that the difference between those authors who get published, and those who do not, is that they who get published did it on purpose.

If you have a passion to write, then write. If you want to make a living at it, there is no better time to do it than now. There are publications that buy anything that can be written. You like to write, you want to be published, then write and don’t stop sending those manuscripts off.

And once you’ve sent it off. If you get a rejection notice, I like to send a thank you note and ask them if they would recommend another editor to me. This is really successful.

Just get out there. You have stories or poems that someone is dying to read. Don’t keep it hidden away, get it out there, and be the writer, you were born to be.

SamtheWriter

signing off

www.samthewriter.com

National Poetry Month

Are You Poetry? Text: IAmPoetry to: 41411

Are You Poetry? Text: IAmPoetry to: 41411

April is right around the corner and being a super lover of poetry, I am promoting this year’s poetry month like crazy, especially here on Facebook because I know that several of you guys share my love for literature and the arts. I think poetry is at the top of my favorites to write. It is nice to read, has several forms (which grown daily), and can pay very well too! (Side benefit, of course)

I want to encourage you, if you are a lover of poetry, to find a way to be apart of this national day. Maybe you love to write, maybe you don’t write but you love to read it; there are great ways for everyone to be apart of it.

First of all, for all of us who love to read it, Poets.org has great resources, like “Poem in my pocket”, a-poem-a-day (which sends a poem to your e-mail or cell phone every day), and several ways to get involved.

It’s in my pocket

If you are a poet, and are looking to get some of your work published, check out Writers & Poets Online. You can create a free profile and then if you click on Writers Tools, you have instant access to an amazing literary magazine listing, where you can find one you like, click, and have all the info you need for publishing.

BLOGS –
If you are a normal blogger, one way to celebrate the month is by posting your own poems as blogs. It is a great way to exercise your writing skills,and an even better way to network with other writers, as many writers, like myself, do internet searches for poetry blogs. Also, if you have a poetry blog, drop me an e-mail with the link; I am putting together a Poetry Bloggers, network page in my poetry section of SamTheWriter.com, to make it easier for you to connect with others. I will also be featuring my favorite poet’s blog, with an interview of the poet, on my site, and writer blog to help you get connected and get a little exposure for yourself.

If that’s you, drop me a line: sam@samthewriter.com – in the subject line write ‘My Poet Blog’

SO, what am I doing for NPM?

For starters,
* This month I am submitting at least one poem a day, to a literary magazine.
* Taking time to search for fellow poets with blogs, and connecting with them.
* I am updating the ‘Poetry’ page of http://www.SamTheWriter.com, so that, by April, poets will be able to
find the Markets that suit them, much easier.

Many of you know that I have several samples of my poetry online, check them out and tell me which one is your personal favorite.

Here are a few of the poems I have had published, Check them out:

* REMEMBER ME

* THE WRITE

* SHE

* QUIET LOVE GAME

* I Must Write, I Must Dance

Feel free to check these guys out and tell me what you think.

Here is one that has not been published yet, but has one two writers awards, from ‘Love Journal, and Passion for Marriage Magazine:

It’s Called ‘Love You So Much’ and it is based off of a series of sticky notes my wife had left for me around the house. I took each note (12 in all) and wrote a responce poem to each and in my poetry collection (to be published around November) The Chronciels of a Lover, I made a short chaper for these sticky notes and responces, called ‘A Trail of Sparks’.

I Am SO In Love With You…

I am so in love with you and it happened so fast, as the words and the feelings, and all the emotions collide, like two massive planets that crash. Like the waves in the sea, breaking tides, pulling me, to the depths of the deep of our hearts like the sea

I am so in love with you and it hit so intense and hot, like stars crashing, planets ramming, earth and moon slamming into a billion pieces setting the universe into flames; an unquenchable furnace, fires flowing through space, so vast its expanse like when our hearts come into a collision-embrace

I am so in love with you and the passion’s so loud- close to insane, like the lightning-bashing violent winds of a hurricane thrashing, and broad-casting the awe and wonder of the astounding-thunder-like pounding of Love beating ferociously the drums of our hearts

I am so in love with you!

Well there’s quite a bit here, and I hope you enjoyed this little note.

If you want to keep up to date with any new writing announcements, writer’s events, any poetry readings I will be at or book signings; new writing markets, or writing and poetry news, get your cell phone and text Samthewriter, to 41411.

Later,

Sam Connelly

Check out my writer’s site
SamTheWriter.com

Or my Writer’s Blog
* AShotOfLiteraryCaffeine