A long post this week, with several links... Make yourself comfortable!
It's April, which means it's National Poetry Month, or National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) if you're a writer of poetry, as well as a reader of it. Whichever you want to call it... It's celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
So... Will you be taking part in the celebration of poetry in some way this month? Perhaps by writing some of your own? Perhaps by reading the poetry of others? If so, I'd love to hear about it.
There are some other writing challenges happening this month too. Including Camp NaNoWriMo, and one I heard about where your goal is to write a novel in 8 days.
I'm not officially participating in any challenges myself. But, as I said, I'd be interested to hear if you are. If you are, which ones? Or, if you're doing your own personal challenge, what are you doing? Also, if you are doing a challenge of some sort, how's it going so far? Like I said, I'd love to hear about it.
I'd originally planned to be publishing a new poetry collection this month. But it isn't ready. I've got enough poems that I could do one, but haven't had a chance to do anything towards sorting the cover beyond having an idea for what I'd like to have appear on it. So I guess it will have to wait. In the meantime, I'll work on adding a couple more poems to it. After all, I'm sure nobody will object to it having more poems in it than originally planned. My goal is to have at least one poem written each week during April; more if possible.
Did you know: There are several personal benifits of writing poetry. So, if it's not something you already do, but you've been considering it, maybe reading those benifits will be enough to encourage you to try? Go on... You know you want to!
Also, if you're interested in knowing facts about the history of poetry, check out this post on rhyming traditions from early China to modern day rap.
If you found the previous article interesting, you may find this one on how upper and lower case letters changed the world interesting too.
Want to write, but don't think you're good enough? Stop that! The only thing stopping you from writing is yourself. So, here are 5 steps to fighting off writer's insecurity. OK, so... Are you ready to tackle that writing project now? You are? Great!
First of all, here's a helpful metaphor for writers (and other creative professionals). I'm not so good with number four. I'd like to be, but I always find myself focussing more on the other three legs of the table. As the writer friend whose blog I spotted the post linked on said... Maybe I should buy a hat!
OK... Now it's time to start working on that book. We'll start by creating your world, and fleshing out the details for it. This also applies if you're writing things set in modern times, but is especially important if you're writing a historical or futuristic story. So, take a look at this worldbuilding checklist to make sure you've covered everything. Yes, I am aware that it's the same one linked to in the first of the two posts in this paragraph; I thought I'd put the link in my post too, to make it easier to go straight to it in the future.
After that, you'll need to decide on the viewpoint you'll be writing from. If you're choice is to write in first person, these tips will help you to produce amazing results. But, regardless of the viewpoint you choose, this post will help you with mapping your character. It's always great when your characters talk to you; helps you get to know them, and turn them in to "real" people.
Next, here's how to describe an object, and why it matters in your story.
When you're done writing your story, you can use Grammar Check to help you check your grammar (just in case the name of the site wasn't a big enough clue as to what you'd use it for).
Of course, you're going to need a title at some point too. So, here's a post that will give you some tools to create titles that will hook your readers.
After that, you need to decide how you're going to publish. The Guardian published an article recently that prompted a fellow author to write a post giving his thoughts on the claim that real writers don't self-publish. Want to know my thoughts? Well, I'll tell you anyway. Here's the thing: different forms of publishing are best for different people. For some, traditional publishing is the route to go down. For others, self-publishing is the best option. But, regardless of which you choose, there are no guarantees of success, nor of failure. Both options have equal chances of making you a successful author, or of making you one of those people who only manages to sell a couple of books (and those to family and friends). The thing is though that both options are just as valid as one another. In other words: it doesn't matter which you choose at the end of the day. Just pick the option you feel is the right one for you, be proud you even managed to finnish your book, and good luck to you with whichever path to publication you choose to follow. If, however, your choice is to self-publish, here are 8 questions to answer before you self-publish.
Published - traditionally or otherwise - but struggling to get book sales? Here are some tips on finding new readers. The chances of them resulting in you having enough readers to become the next J K Rowling are slim, if I'm honest. But the post is good advice to give you a chance at increasing your readership, I think. Apparently, these tips on lessons from the silver screen, which can be used for books too, will ensure your book's success. But, as I already said, nothing is guaranteed. Oh, and here's a message about common sense book marketing, which you might want to read too.
I recently read this post about how continuing to use paper increases productivity, which I found quite interesting. I actually agree with most of the points raised in it, and think the article is well worth the read.
Unfortunately, for reasons that should be obvious, I have no choice but to go paper-free, since the only methods for taking quick notes that are available to me are by using digital devices. In the past, I've tried various versions of taking notes in braille. However, the brailler is bulky (not to mention, noisy like the old typewriters, so not something you'd want to be using to take notes in the early hours of the morning) and the braille writing frames are awkward to use (not to mention, it takes so long to do each letter with them that you've forgotten your idea by the time you've finnished the first word). It took me getting my iPhone and trying out its "notes" function before I found anything that I could use to take notes reasonably quickly without being sat in front of my computer.
If, however, you have nothing stopping you from making doing something similar to what's suggested in the article possible, I would advise that you do so. If nothing else, it will help you to avoid the distractions of social media.
Before I end this post, I want to say a quick "thank you" to fellow author, Amber Fox, who runs the Everywhere Indies site, and who did a post about the release of "Rhubarb The Red-Nosed Rabbit" for me last week. So... Thanks, Amber!