Tag Archives: The Word

The Word: Top Self-Care Tips For Working Writers

Being a working writer can be hard, exhausting, and feel fruitless, but there are ways to help yourself. This is a lesson I had to learn along the way. Burning out is serious, I suffered it, and I’ve been on a mission to help others stop before they burn out themselves. I have written about the dark side of being creative on demand in an article here on the website entitled The Dark side of being ‘Creative on Demand’, if you’d like to read about my burn out journey and what I learned then. I recommend it.

I’m here to bring to you some more help on this topic, things I’ve learned since the previously mentioned post happened. Things that have helped me that may help you.


Scheduling

Schedule time in your day for writing. Sometimes this could be as small as a ten-minute break in the day, during a lunch period, or an hour. Planning and sticking to a schedule can have significant results in that manuscript getting done and accomplishing goals.

Turning Off/Closing Off

You can become quickly overwhelmed if you have a lot of chaos going on. From a cellphone that doesn’t stop going off to not having a quiet space, turn off the cellphone (if you can). I even recommend going as far as posting a sign outside your work space to let others know you need the quiet. If your space has a door, shut it.

Set Your Environment

To piggyback off of the above tip, you can also set up your space to optimize your productivity. Like candles and incense? Light one. Struggling with a scene? Why not listen to some cinematic music or your favorite film’s soundtrack? Sometimes the music helps to create a headspace, this may be the perfect place to help you write.

Get Out Of Your Head

This is something I didn’t realize I had done until someone mentioned it to me. When struggling with your writing space, sometimes you need to get out of it to get out of your head. It completely made sense to me I would move around especially if I’ve struggled for a long time at my desk, it becomes a focus of frustration and in order to push through I had grabbed a notebook, pencil, and found a spot on the floor in a completely different area of my home. You can also go outside or even to your favorite cafe to improve your headspace.

Exercise

Exercising is great for your health, both physical and mental wellness. It will also give you a boost of energy. Sitting at a desk for hours isn’t good for you, the risk for blood clots increases. In this article from Mount Sinai titled: Can I get a blood clot from sitting at my computer? It explains how sitting for long periods can affect your health in a more medical way.

Reward Yourself

Whether it is a few words, paragraph, or even a chapter rewarding yourself can help you continue through the long writing process. Setting a small goal to accomplish and rewarding yourself for goal achieving is motivation. I pulled this from my college days and began applying it to my working periods.

Remind Yourself You’re Amazing

You know how amazing you are? You’re a writer! You are a creator of worlds. That’s amazing. Look in a mirror and tell yourself you’re amazing, that you’re a talented writer, and that you can and will get through this.

Communicate

Talking to other writers may very well be something that you need. It may even surprise you to find out they’ve been right where you are before. Feeling not alone can help us through hard times, don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone.

The Word: The Worst Writing Advice I Have Ever Been Given [Plus The Best] Comment/Share Yours!

Long before I published, worked in the industry, or even won titles like bestseller or award-winning, I was getting unsolicited advice on writing, how to improve, and the keys to the writing world. I learned in my journey that advice really is just a jumping off place, where you’re jumping is the risk many writers take to get to their goals. There is more realistic advice. This is what you need. This is what I needed.

The Bad Advice

  1. Writing is easy, and anyone can do it! You surely can.
  2. Now that we have Amazon it shouldn’t be hard, use Amazon.
  3. You don’t need an agent or lawyers when you’re an Indie. Believe me, you’ll be just fine.
  4. I made it. You will make it.
  5. If you don’t know your style, you can always mimic someone that’s doing well. If they did it, you can do it too.
  6. If you don’t have the money, you don’t need the service. [In editing, graphics, or formatting]
  7. They say they’re professional, so they must be. Their prices aren’t that bad.

Those not in the business often give poor advice about the business. It’s on par with asking someone how good a restaurant is, unaware they’ve never been there, and they’re pretending they know. Now that I’ve covered some ‘bad’ advice I’ve received, I want to cover some better advice, what has worked for me, and trustworthy wisdom.

The Realistic Advice

  1. Though anyone can put pen to paper or type on a keyboard, it may seem easy enough, writing seriously is another thing entirely. There’s a lot that goes into being a writer, published author, or anything in the business. The main thing is to keep going for the long haul, it will take months of work after writing, which will often take months of work. Just keep going, even if it’s typing a few words or lines a day.
  2. Yeah, Amazon’s made it easier to publish independently we have to do it their way. They’re a business and we still have to follow their structure if we’re going to use it. Beyond that, they’re not so bad. Just learn as much as you can about Amazon’s system and Audible, they own that too. Just be aware they may change policies and not in your favor.
  3. Hey, they made it, but that doesn’t mean you will. Being indie isn’t easy, we’re the underdogs, and sometimes people have a lot of money backing them to make it easier for them.
  4. You will need to either learn how to do something, know someone professionally skilled, or pay someone to do it. Nothing is free after all.
  5. Just because they claim they’re professional doesn’t mean they are. The word ‘professional’ gets used often by anyone that wants to be taken seriously, but you need to review their work history. Is their work up to your standards? Ask questions. Ask to see a portfolio or see if they have one on their website. Heck, do they even have one of those? You will see most of the time they don’t even have a free one. Be weary.
  6. Oh, man! You definitely need to hire a cover artist if you’re not able to do it yourself. The cover is the first impression the reader gets of the tone of the book. That goes for formatting, but most of all editing. Don’t ask friends and family to ‘just do it for you’, they won’t be honest every time, especially if they’ve seen you struggling for months. They will not want to hurt your feelings. Unless they’re taking your work seriously.
  7. For God Sakes, don’t try to professionally edit the work yourself if you’re not qualified.
  8. Listening to reviews is like being in a madhouse. You’ll not please everyone.
  9. Find YOUR VOICE and don’t lose it. Some freelance editors will try to change a work entirely from what you’re doing, if the work is losing your voice, it is losing your style and personality. Be careful. [This applies to trying to copy a better style. Mimicking isn’t your own style.]
  10. Editors will always edit differently. Give one manuscript to three editors and they will edit it into three different styles. Go with the one you like best.

Have you ever been given bad writing advice? What about some excellent advice? Whatever the case, share it! Got some questions even that you’ve not found answers for. Let’s start a conversation about it.

[The Word] Interview of the Amazing USA Today Bestselling Author Rue Volley

Rue Volley has become one of the biggest names of the independent publishing industry. Being one of the bestselling authors and creator of many of the covers you see coming out of the small press and independent graphics field. These are just a few of the reasons I wanted to interview her for the website and bring her to the front of the page for you my readers. So let me waste no more of your time. Here is the interview of Rue Volley.


Bachman: As a writer, have you ever had an unbelievable moment?

Volley: My unbelievable moments have always been with fans of my work. The first time I did a book signing really stunned me. I couldn’t believe that people would stand in line to meet me and have me sign their books. I’m always humbled when I meet people who buy my books and love them. Knowing that something I created made such a huge impact on another human being is probably one of the best feelings in the world. Fans are incredibly loyal and grateful to have a few moments with you. Every author should appreciate that.

Bachman: Is there anything you’ve seen in the industry you wish would change?

Volley: I’ve been in this industry for thirteen years and I’ve watched a lot of things change. I’m not a fan of the low price point that’s attached to Indie books, or quick fire novels pushed into the market by ghostwriting teams. I’m also not a fan of how over-saturated specific tropes become when one idea makes money. It tips the boat and makes it nearly impossible to navigate without spending extreme amounts of money on marketing. Facebook has also changed over the years. It used to be much easier to reach your fans (and new fans) on Facebook by using your business page, or posting in groups. Now Facebook hides most of your posts if you don’t pay them. It’s really unfortunate.

Bachman: They say if you’re a writer you must also be a reader, do you agree? Any book recommendations?

Volley: I do agree that you have to keep reading. It’s inspiring to read new books, but you have to be careful and not allow it to influence the book, or books, that you’re working on. I tend to avoid whatever genre I’m writing in at the moment. I’m very eclectic when it comes to reading. I do have some preferences though. I tend to read first person POV in present tense, mostly.

Some recent recommendations:

  • Courtney Summers—The Project
  • Amy Poehler—Yes Please
  • Colleen Hover—Heartbones
  • Rory Power—Wilder Girls
  • Stephenie Meyer–Midnight Sun
  • Nicola Yoon—Everything Everything
  • Michelle Obama—Becoming

Bachman: Any advice to those just now coming into the industry?

Volley: Save up your money for marketing before you release the book and do your homework on what ads really work. Hire a GREAT editor. Have a professional, shelf-ready, book cover made. Hire someone to write your blurb if you can’t come up with something dynamic. I’ll also add that it’s up to you to set the pace and schedule with your book releases. Consistency is key. Branding is key. Think about these things when it comes to your image and each book release that you do. Think professionally. Treat it like a small business and don’t neglect it. No one will ever care about your book as much as you do.

Bachman: You produce some beautiful book covers, have you always done graphic design?

Volley: Thank you, I appreciate that. I’ve been a graphic designer for fourteen years and I’ve created over four hundred book covers.I recently left the publishing company that I was with, and I do freelance work now.

I think the book cover is one of the most important selling points when it comes to marketing your books. A great story can be snuffed out with bad wrapping paper.
I think authors should employ cover artists who are not only talented, but understand the market and how competitive it can be. Making covers that mimic other artists is detrimental to not only the original artist, but to the publishing world as a whole. I’d also like to add that it’s best to let the cover artist edit your vision so the cover doesn’t become a jumbled mess with no real message. It’s so easy to want to toss everything onto a cover, but just like the story itself, it has to be edited with a sharp instrument.

Bachman: Is writing something that you always wanted to do?

Volley: No, but it seems to have always wanted me to do it.

When I was young, I wrote elaborate screenplays to entertain my siblings. When I was in high school, I lucked into taking a creative writing class with a mentor who taught at Stanford University. When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I was in a band signed with Time Warner and I wrote all of the lyrics to our songs. Then when I turned forty, I decided to write my first novel. When I turned forty-five, I wrote my first screenplay and helped produce and direct my first movie. So, writing is just a part of who I am. I never thought about doing it for a living, but I’m grateful that I’ve been able to make a career out of it.


Bachman: Do you have a plan to stay on task during deadlines or do you ‘wing it’?

Volley: I’m a panster, so winging it is exactly how I write my novels, but as far as staying on deadline—I write every single day, even if it’s only a chapter or two. I’m very strict on myself when it comes to writing because it’s very easy to slack in this profession, and you can’t do that when you’ve invested time and money, and made announcements.

Bachman: Some writers do literary pilgrimages, is this something you’ve always wanted to do?

Volley: I’d love to take a few months off and just hike some mountains, bike some trails, meet new people, eat new food, listen to new music—live without a schedule or expectations. I think it would be a great experience after going through a pandemic and navigating a volatile political landscape for the last couple of years.

I think we all deserve a reboot.

Her Social Media:

The Word: Top 15 Fears Writers Have

Every day writers face fears. Not from the storylines, they’re writing, though I’m sure are, the fears I’m talking about are fears of a different kind. Every writer whether well-known or just getting started have fears. These fears are rooted in the unknown and self-doubt often. In today’s article, we’ll address the top fifteen fears that are most common in the industry.

  • Not selling books
  • Readers not enjoying the work
  • Missing deadlines
  • Not finding the time to write
  • Receiving poor reviews
  • Forgetting to back-up their work
  • Lack of recognition
  • Writer’s block
  • Conveying story correctly
  • Rejection letters
  • Ideas stolen
  • Work is pirated
  • Plagiarism
  • The idea has already been done
  • Money to back a project

Now listing the top fifteen fears, how does one address them? Self-doubt is a terrible thing, especially if it goes hand-in-hand with an unwillingness to accept things you cannot change. The things you cannot change and must accept if you want a forward progression in your career are critical reviews, piracy, and not selling books. Readers not enjoying your work walks aside critical reviews, you cannot please everyone. The quicker you accept this the easier it’ll be on you.

Piracy happens. This was a personal hard pill to swallow. Most websites that post books are legitimate and will link to the proper buying locations, but from time to time you’ll find one that has a pdf or digital copy. Websites advertise books in a ‘store’ to pose as a proper book outlet, but it’s a scam to make a profit off of the traffic or illegally distribute work. Most will take down the item if you file a copyright claim, but often it still just won’t matter.

Years back one author came up with a very interesting way to track who was stealing their work. I cannot remember who it was, but the basic idea was watermarking the document. Whoever ended up with the stolen copy either got an incomplete ‘review only edition or a copy that declared it had been stolen if not gotten at x location. I love this idea.

Plagiarism is illegal, but it still happens to this day. You see it in the news authors suing another. Often the one being sued has used a shady ghostwriter. This gives ghostwriting a bad name. It also ruins the reputation of legitimate authors working months on a novel. If you discover your work is stolen or too closely copied, you really must seek legal aid. What also can happen, sad is one coming up with a brilliant idea unaware it’s already been done. It happens, but what you do upon discovering your idea is too close to something else it’s best to work on it more until it’s unique again. Ideas being stolen is sadly a problem too. Brainstorming with a friend is a great way to get the engine going, but there is no doubt it is risky if you don’t know that person very well. You risk your idea being stolen and written quicker than you can do it yourself.

Writers struggle to portray their stories exactly as they imagine them. It is hard for some to take the movie in their head and put it on paper properly. Editors can help in this area, but it is still a frustration before an editor can get ahold of the manuscript.
Rejection letters can bring up harsh feelings of others not liking your work. It’s part of the business and something I addressed in another The Word entry, The Word: A Quick Guide to Getting Signed.

Not selling books and not having the money to back a project can be hard. Not having money is part of why I started out doing everything myself. I freelanced as a graphic artist just to pay for editing, but learning everything else saved me money. I’ve seen the financial struggles that could’ve been and are going on every day with writers. I don’t have any magical money advice. There is no way to just get things done for free. Nothing is truly free.

I know that some work with a bartering system. Since networking is vital anyway an exchange of talent happens. For example: if a writer can edit very well, but cannot create a book cover they may find help from someone who can do the cover for some editing help. Even if you can back a project, it doesn’t guarantee the book will sell, most often that boils down to the marketing. Can’t sell books if you don’t reach the audience.

Money can be the primary motivation for many to write. I advise against it. If you’re in this business only for the money, you’ll become frustrated quickly when the money doesn’t come. No one gets famous instantly. No one makes money out the gate. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. A lot of work has to go into it before the money is ever seen.

Not finding time to work is everyone’s struggle. This leads to missing deadlines in most cases. A word here or there, a paragraph at lunch, or even scribbling on a napkin. If you can find even the smallest minute, you can progress the story even if it’s at a slow pace. This is also a fix for writer’s block, but it doesn’t always work and not for everyone.

Recognition comes in time. I was recognized as a graphic designer before I was ever known for writing. Sometimes your known for one thing and not another. All I can say is keep at it. It’ll change.

Have you ever faced some situations before? Have you discovered your own solutions to the above issues? Let’s talk about it.

The Word: A Quick Guide to Getting Signed

I think I can clearly say with confidence that we’ve all heard how hard it is to become a published author. Some getting dozens of rejection letters and never getting signed. Sometimes, there is even stories of people writing all their lives and getting published, finally, in later years. When I was a little girl, I looked at the library shelves. Through the books gifted. I dreamed of being one of ‘those people’ one of the published writers. I went through phases of accepting it to never be and pushing myself to keep trying.

I eventually found independent publishing. I began in the industry with research and working in graphic design. I produced covers and graphics for other authors. I have shared this story before, but the shortest version is one of my clients discovered I wrote and wasn’t anymore, encouragement occurred, and I originally self-published, but along the way I networked. Networking is vital, you must do this to succeed, and it’s very useful. I researched legitimate publishing houses and small presses, this all led to me becoming published with the now defunct publishing house Burning Willow Press.

I cannot remember if I held a conversation about why they signed me, but I had time to ask one of my current publishing house the big ‘why’ question. With permission, I will share the important part of the conversation I had with Rebekah Jonesy of Three Furies Press.


Bachman: Why did y’all sign me? What about the book did you like? (The book in question is Maxwell Demon)

Jonesy: The complex world and history with a fairly straightforward plot. It sucked me right in. Like I knew the characters and got to experience a new world with them as my guides. Add in the rockstar author who will work to put herself out there, and hustle for book sales while constantly reaching out and coordinating with her publisher, and it was just too good to pass up. I can pass up a good book with a bad author, and a rickety story if the author will work with us on it. This time I had the best of both, so win/win for my company and me.

Bachman: Such kind words. Can I quote you? For my article.

Jonesy: Have at it. Oh, and of course your books NEVER end how I think they will at the beginning, or even middle of the book. There’s always a creative change that happens, not a twist, because it is still straightforward. And that intrigues me every time and makes me want to read more of your books.


In that exchange, you can see a lot of what you need to get published. The guide is my shared experience and my advice. I feel it’s important to add that I have also had my share of rejection, but all that encouraged me to work hard, learn better writing techniques, and keep trying. Your take away at the end of this article is the following list.

  • Learn your craft. Read as much as you can on the skills of writing. Remember, anyone can put a pencil to paper, but those that are truly skilled/gifted with words cannot write a wonderful story, but become an actual signed storyteller.
  • Publishers are more likely to sign you if you have a history of promoting yourself. If you do not believe in your work why should they? This can be a trail of marketing or even a long road of career foundation building. They will watch your social medias, like everyone else.
  • Publishers are not the enemy. If you submit a story and get rejected listen to why they’re rejecting it. Often, the story will not be declined forever. If you pay attention and resubmit that is. Often the ‘rejected letter’ is a list of corrections in disguise. Some publishers don’t want to hurt your feelings. Do note sometimes a rejection truly is just that, but really understand the rejection letter. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

Here’s a rough idea of the process before, during, and after publishing enters.

  • Write the story. DO NOT submit the first draft, approach with a fully flushed out tale on paper with the best editing you can do or hire.
  • Research publishers taking submissions. DO NOT reach out to them if their website clearly states they’re not taking submissions. Also, DO NOT submit to a company if it clearly states ‘no unsolicited submissions’, this means have an agent. If you submit anyway, they usually reject instantly. If you can’t follow the simple directions on their website, you’ll not be worth their time and/or give the impression you will not be easy to work with. You could have the next great American classic on your hands and they will not look it at. It’ll go to the slush pile’s bottom or even in the trash bin. Avoid the vanity presses. You’ll known them with their fancy package deals. For example: they will publish your book, soft and hardcover editions. They will include merch like posters and bookmarks. All you have to do is pay them x-amount of money. I have talked about these horrible businesses in the past. They seem perfect and that’s their trap. They always catch the business naïve. NO legitimate publisher will ask you to pay them. It’s bizarre to even consider it.
  • Prepare a query letter. Sometimes a company’s website will list what they want to know from you upon submission. For me, I explained who I was, my history of writing, and my experience in the industry. I also included my marketing plan experience with samples. This is the time to ‘sell yourself’ to the publisher. Make it superb. Along with the letter, prepare the first few chapters of the story and a blurb/summary of the story. Also, if it’s a series, include that information and where the story plans to go. Also add any marketing plan you have at that point in time if it’s different, how you plan to stand out, and anything else relevant.
  • After you’ve listened to the above and submitted you now will wait. Sometimes it’s hours and sometimes it’s months. Whatever you do, I recommend selecting one body of work per publisher. If you submit one story to multiple companies, it’s likely they all or some will want you and your work around the same time. It’s just easier and less stressful to put one work to one company.
  • If you get rejected read the letter, contact them, and even maybe thank them for their time. If you need to ask them to explain further do it. Sometimes they will not provide more and accept the rejection as just that, they get busy. Sometimes though, they will explain, and be willing to work with you on getting the manuscript up to their standards of publication.
  • If you get accepted you don’t have time to rest. All those months of working the book now got you to the point to do more. Once the story is in their hands, they will edited again and again by them, restructured with formatting and style, and ripped apart. You may even start thinking they’ve ruined the book, but you need to remember they’re seeing it with fresher eyes than your own. They will see things you’re not seeing or at least not seeing anymore. They’re professionals and want the best product for market. This is a business after all.
  • During the process you will be contact, at least in my experience, randomly for things needed. Here and there, these aren’t very specific and range well within the realm of eventual expectations.
  • They may even help you develop a marketing plan for each book or the series, if that is what you have, overall. They may even put you in contact within their network of trusted colleagues. (See networking is important) It’s good to remember each book is its ‘own business’ under the umbrella of you being your brand, a lot of steps will repeat for every release.

I re-edited this to add some editing advice. If you’re paying for an editor remember if you get a group of editors in a room to edit your story they all will say something different. This doesn’t mean one is more right it’s just their editing style. It’s just as fluid as the style an author may use to write a story.


My experience will vary from your own. I often do a lot of my own graphic work or formatting, but that doesn’t mean you will get to or have to. It depends person to person or even company to company. I enjoy doing a lot of my work, but willing to let share the workload.

What exactly am I? I am what’s considered a ‘hybrid’. I publish with companies and on my own. This is ideal for me. I have the freedom I need as a working freelancer in the business. I also get the freedom to publish when or what I want, but for projects that are signed I get the help I need. A boost to help me stay productive along with the easy of knowing someone’s going to be there if I have a question or need feedback.

The inspiration for this article came to me after seeing far too much hate online directed at publishers. Those not getting signed and lashing out of jealousy, judgement, and overall a misunderstanding of how things work. There are myths. We share some out of humor, but professionals know it’s all fun and games because the work can get stressful. Plus, who doesn’t need a good chuckle?

[Brief Words] 2019 Throwback Guest Blog of C.R.Garmen

Fantasy. The word used to make me cringe. For most of my life I avoided the genre as much as I could. I had these preconceived notions that fantasy was boring, long, and intimidating with a complex magic and society system that would go so far over my head that it may as well have been the moon. It wasn’t until my ex-boyfriend pushed me into joining a Dungeons and Dragons session that I started to change my mind.

Now that session was awful. I hated almost every minute of it. The rules were insane to try and follow. The character limitations sucked. The story was just as boring as I had thought it would be from the start. But my aunt pushed me to give the game another try. To create my own world free of everything that aggravated me the first time and make it something worth looking forward to. I became the dungeon master and I broke most of the rules, obliterated most of the limitations, and went purely by what was the most entertaining to watch unfold.

My players were encouraged to do crazy, outlandish things that should be impossible to do. This campaign went on for two years, and it was most fun I had playing a table top game. We didn’t take the books seriously, we made everything up as we went, and it was beautiful.So, when the opportunity arose to write within the fantasy genre, I decided to give it a shot.

I was going to craft my story with different elements from my D&D campaigns and make it more comical then intense. It was a blast, and within three weeks the bones for Becoming A Hero were laid out. The story follows a man who sells pots and pans for a living with his pet donkey. He falls into a lost kingdom which is cursed by an evil king to hold everyone within the land hostage to his will. My hero has the chance to run away but decides to fight for what was right- not what was easy instead.

I hope, through my work, others find out what I did. Fantasy can be everything, or nothing short, long, easy, complicated, stereotypes and their counterpart. Break free from any preconceived notions and let this amazing genre take you to a beautiful new world.

Fantasy is what you want it to be, so make it fun.

Check out C.R. Garmen on Facebook

Some links contained in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have been lost over the years as well for some interviews and older content.

This is an older piece of content being re-posted.


Interesting Reads and Related Content

The Word: Types of Poetry w/Examples & Explanations

Acrostic – The simplest poem one can attempt. It uses the ups and downs of piece to spell out a world of phrase. Often found useful in codes and code-breaking.

Examples of this poetry type: William Blake’s poem London. Edgar Allan Poe’s poem Elizabeth. 

Blank Verse – This type of poetry is confused with freestyle/free verse, but differs as it follows a iambic pentameter and rhymes.

Examples of this poetry type: John Milton’s piece Paradise Lost. William Wordsworth poem Tintern Abbey.

Cinquain – Considered a difficult type of poetry to write. Tanka poems falls into this type of poetry as well. This poetry is made of a build of 5 lines. Generally made of a rhyme of sequence of ababb, abaab, or abccb (the a’s rhyming or b’s rhyming or the c’s rhyming).

Examples of this poetry type: Adelaide Crapsey’s poem November Night.

Free Verse/Freestyle – Confused with blank verse, but differs because it doesn’t follow any type or technique. It’s a unconventional style.

Examples of this poetry type: E.E. Cummings poem L(A. Walt Whitman’s poem When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.

Haiku/Tanka – Haiku is a 3 line poem where the first and last line are five syllables. Tanka, a type of Haiku, builds with the form of 5,7,5,7,7 syllable lines. It’s Haiku with two additional 7 syllable lines.

Examples of this poetry type: For Haiku example – Matsuo Basho’s poem A Bee. For Tanka example – Mokichi Saito’s work Red Lights.

Limerick – Is a form of verse, usually humorous and frequently rude, in five-line, predominantly anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA (meaning the a’s rhyme and the b’s rhyme), in which the first, second and fifth line rhyme, while the third and fourth lines are shorter and share a different rhyme.

Examples of this poetry type: Lewis Carroll’s work To Miss Vera Beringer. William Shakespeare’s piece Othello.

Sestina – Is a fixed verse form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, normally followed by a three-line envoi (a short stanza concluding a ballade). The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern

Examples of this poetry type: Ezra Pound’s poem Altaforte. Elizabeth Bishop’s poem A Miracle for Breakfast.

Sonnet/Narrative – Poetry built of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme scheme and specific structure. Each line contains ten syllables.

Example of this poetry type: William Shakespeare’s Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven. The poem Epic of Gilgamesh by an Anonymous poet.

Villanelle – Like Cinquain, it’s another difficult type of poetry to write. Also known as villanesque, is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets (a set or group of three lines of verse rhyming together or connected by rhyme with an adjacent tercet) followed by a quatrain

Example of this poetry type: Dylan Thomas poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

Was this helpful? Did you learn something new? Want me to post more about poetry styles or sub-categories of poetry? Thinking of trying poetry or a new style? Want me to go in more depth about each type of poem? Let’s have a conversation about it.

The Word: Poetry and Publishing: The Cold Hard Truth

Early in my publishing career I noticed there wasn’t many poetry books being advertised. I didn’t think much of it, figured I was just simply missing the advertising and marketing of the poets or publishers, but only in the last year or two I learned the reason.

I put out my own poetry book. I found old files and old notebooks full of my poetry from when I was younger and things I wrote in hard times and good. For me, these were my healing times. I felt so deeply I wanted to share them. I did research publishers and had a hard time finding any publishers that covered this genre.

I saw plenty of magazines accepting submissions for ‘themed poems’, but that didn’t fit my style. I am a freestyle or free form poet. I write how I’m feeling without a rhythm guiding me. For my readers, they noticed at the beginning of my series The Blasphemer Series, I included a poem from my husband under a pen name he wanted to use. I love poetry, but never called myself a poet.

When I started this journey, while still gathering poetry together, I began talking with publishers and published authors and found the reason so many, despite wanting to, simply didn’t want to put out poetry collections.

Poetry is a hard sale.

Poetry, from newcomers, is often considered a hard sale. Not many enjoy poetry, unless it’s from the likes of the greats like Plath or a narrative poet like Poe. Publishers, have, but don’t often take a chance on this genre. Which, as a result discourage writers that are producing work in other genres to step out as poets in publishing.

At the end of the day, often forgotten, publishing is a business. The bottom line is making money for the majority that are not the hobbyists. With all that said, don’t give up. If you feel strongly publish your work, if you cannot find a publisher.

Authors have so much going for them now that they didn’t before or didn’t know they had before. Remember many of the greats self-published out their own work when people refused to publish their work. Self-publishing isn’t a new concept.

Never give up. Step back, breathe, and make a plan of attack to go another round. Remember, just because something is a ‘hard sale’ doesn’t mean its impossible!

The Word: Advice on Reviews

The most important thing for for authors of all shapes as sizes is reviews. Many avoid them, but a small few will use them. Those wanting to become a better writer often will use these reviews to see their strong and weak points from the readers’ point of view. I have seen this become very important for the review stalking writers, especially if they’re writing in a new genre for them.

With all that said avoid the most important thing to know about reviews is knowing if you can handle them. If you cannot handle what the readers have to say then you’re probably not in the right career for yourself.

If you can read them, seeing them as an opinion and be able to use them, you’re in a better position. Reviews are not a bad thing, despite the argument that many will pose. You must remember you cannot change minds, first impressions are everything even more so with a product you’ve pushed into the world.

The only thing you can ever control is yourself and how you handle a situation when it presents itself. The world of publishing is a tough one to be in. It’s highly competitive and if you cannot handle the pressure of the publishers, the readers, or the stress from submission this is not the business for you.

I am not saying give up. Just step back, self-care is important. Remember that you cannot control others’ opinions just control how you handle them.

What’d you think of this post in The Word? Think this advice will help you? Has it already helped you? Let me know! Let’s talk about it.

The Word: What A Book Publicist & Experts Taught Me/How I Was Killing My Own Books

Originally, this blog post began as an essay of what I’ve seen others doing wrong with a different title to help others avoid the mistakes, but when I stopped working on it I realized I had made many of these mistakes myself, even recently! I wanted to step back and start over when I became more educated by some professionals in specific fields of the industry. This mentorship of sorts has enlightened me.

The Word began as a writer’s corner/writer’s stories/advice column of sorts to help others learn from my mistakes, give an outlet to fellow authors, share my knowledge, and try to help fellow poets and writers. One thing I’ve talked about the most is growth and being open-minded enough to learn as much as possible. This means I’m on a journey along with everyone else and I want to share what I’ve learned.


The Problem: Promoting too early

My Mistake: I would drop hints, clues, and teasers to create a buzz, but I would start months ahead of release dates. I wanted to create a buzz. I knew I should. This was poor marketing on my part. Which surprised me, I have written about marketing, but I’m not a publicist nor an expert in this field. Give me a photo and ask me if it’s photoshopped I can usually tell or ask me to write a short story, hold my drink, and watch me pound the keys!

What I’ve Learned to Correct This Problem: Promoting too early is a mistake. Months ahead of time is completely too early. 6 weeks ahead of release is the key number I’ve learned from authors and book publicists.

Promoting too early sucks the life out of the book. Any interest for a book will fade by the time it releases. The most active time is the month of and the months after, the peak time is the day of.

The Problem: Giving Up

My Mistake: Self-doubting myself has always been an issue. It’s led to me wanting to give up completely. I felt like a ‘bad writer’ multiple times and wouldn’t work on manuscripts or would force myself to move forward shakily.

What I’ve Learned to Correct This Problem: NEVER give up! Taking care of yourself isn’t giving up. It’s healing yourself to continue the journey. I know I’m not the only writer in the world with worries, concerns, and the ‘bad doubt demons’ whispering. I used to write every day, but over time I stopped doing this.

I’m changing my course and getting back to the good ol’ spooky writer that I am, as I never left just got lost in the mist. I will also say one nice thing about myself every day to pump myself up.

Today’s Self Compliment: I’ve survived so much, I can survive today too.

The Problem: Self-care

My Mistake: Not taking care of myself better. I’ve talked about being creatively burned out before (Read: The Dark side of being ‘Creative on Demand’). I’ve talked about it in interviews. I wasn’t taking care of myself or well enough which ultimately snuffed out my candle. It’s burning the candle at both ends, eventually it’ll met in the middle and be over.

What I’ve Learned to Correct This Problem: The solution was more self-care. Taking a break more than for a little amount of time. Stepping away from projects I’m working on and declining the ones I don’t want to do. I’m no good to anyone if I’m a mess. Never burn the candle at both ends again.

The Problem: Communication

My Mistake: Not communicating enough was a problem I didn’t realize I had. I replied to people, but never really dug deep into things. I never really commented in communities. I’m very aware of my own introverted nature. I don’t enjoy being on camera, don’t like my picture taken, and if you’ve followed me on Facebook, you’ll see even in a recently found older picture of myself I wasn’t happy about it.

What I’ve Learned to Correct This Problem: Though I would join communities around the net, but mainly to watch, but this year has grown to be a full-blown change. I’ve been responding to comments on other website during the Silver Daggers Book Tour, here on WordPress, and more throughout my social media.