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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Perhaps it is because of T.S. Eliot’s famous observation (“The Wasteland”) that April has been designated National Poetry Month by the American Academy of Poets. The energy of the very planet is stirred up as the seasons turn from the extremes of one solstice toward that of the other. Whether you write poetry or not, April is full of inspiration in both the natural and online worlds.

Nothing could be more simple than the A to Z Blogging Challenge, even if you don’t blog. Every day except Sundays, you write something inspired by the corresponding letter of alphabet, beginning with A on April 1 (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/).

Even if you’re not a poet, you can sign up to receive daily writing prompts from WordXWord’s 30/30 Poetry Challenge (http://3030poetry.com/). If you’d rather not have those pesky prompts popping up in your inbox every day, you can resolve instead to visit the Writer’s Digest’s Poem a Day Challenge (http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2014-april-pad-challenge-guidelines/) for their daily prompts.

Then there’s NaPoWriMo — the poet’s version of NaNoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month and National Novel Writing Month, respectively). Find ideas for taking your writing to the next level at http://www.napowrimo.net/

And for you novelists who were too busy in November to pound out your 50,000 words, the good folks at NaNoWriMo offer a month-long writing experience at Camp NaNoWriMo (https://campnanowrimo.org/sign_in). They also run a second camp session during July, so mark your calendars.

No matter what your genre, crack your fingers, get your tools and supplies lined up, and prepare to get some serious writing done in April!

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Catherine Ryan Howard is the author of four successful self-published books: two travel memoirs, a novel, and a reference book on self-publishing. Her blog, Catherine, Caffeinated, has a lot of useful information on self-publishing, especially on marketing and promotion for authors.

During the month of May, the blog will focus on the nuts and bolts of selling self-published works. The lead-off post, Read This First, gets the series off to a sound start by grounding it in reality. If you are interested in publishing through any channel, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this blog. Even if you end up disagreeing with what’s said or choosing a different course, the decisions you reach will be much better considered for having done so.

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What happens when we allow self-conscious perfectionism to direct our writing practice? We often stop writing, stop practicing, and our progress as writers stops as well. When we don’t write, we cannot continue our work; when we don’t practice, we cannot improve on our craft.

Doug Beyer reflects on this simply but eloquently in a recent post at his eponymous blog, which is “about writing and food.” While you’re there, check out some of the other thoughtful things he has to say about writing — even his food posts seem to tie back to writing in some way.

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Guest blogger Wendy Hird has outlined her plan for “global literary domination” at WM Freelance Writers Connection. The plan includes minions, op-ed rants in a major newspaper, and a t-shirt.

For a megalomanic’s-eye view of how to get your book published, check out Wendy’s post at http://wmfreelancewritersconnection.com/2011/03/new-author-takes-an-unconventional-approach-to-getting-published/.

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At one time or another, most famous authors have been moved to compile a list of rules for good writing. Some eventually publish these lists, and one or two have even been known to follow their own rules.

This blog post by Robert Bruce gives us access to not one, but two lists of writing rules. Of the two, I find George Orwell’s list more direct and useful.

What rules do you follow in your writing? What rules do you, as a reader, like other writers to follow?

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I ran across this wonderful post by Albert Berg about working on the things we don’t do well or necessarily enjoy. For each of us, there is some aspect (or several) of our writing practice that we don’t excel at or gravitate toward. Life being what it is, that’s often the very thing that would take us to the next level as writers.

The discipline we need to develop our craft doesn’t come easy, unlike our propensity to fall short of the goals we set for ourselves. Thankfully, each day gives us a new opportunity to try again and timely reminders from fellow travelers to give us a much-needed boost.

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The Carnegie Center is looking to schedule an additional, earlier session of the Blogging 101 and 201 classes that will be held in April. If there is enough interest, they will offer the classes on two consecutive Saturdays in February. Learn how to create, manage, and promote your blog.

Send an e-mail to Laura Whitaker at LWhitaker@carnegieliteracy.org to get more information or reserve a spot in the February classes.

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