Another Poem…It Is Still April!

One of my faves…

You

The sound of your voice

stirs my soul

and I come alive.

Your fingers brush against my skin

sets me aflame

and I surrender to you.

It’s you I breathe.

Without you I’m not me.

It’s you I need. It’s you.

The feel of your body

close to mine,

the world disappears.

One glance from you

I lose all resolve

and give myself to you.

Because it’s you I breathe.

Without you I’m not me.

It’s you I need. It’s you.

To Love, Not to Hold

Again, in honor of National Poetry Month, a poem:

To Love, But Not Hold

You’ve been given to me
To love, but not hold
You’re mine,
But can never be mine
You’re a part of my soul,
So much, you’re never know
I lose myself
I n everything
You do
Can’t you see how I long,
Long to be near you?
You’re on my mind
Every moment, every second
All of the time
So if I have to, I’ll wait
I’ll wait as long as it takes
I’ve waited longer for lesser things
For you’ve been given to me
To love, but not hold
And you’re all that I want,
All I’ll ever need

Write What You Know

I’ve probably said this before, but I can’t say it enough: if you want to be a writer, not just a good writer, but a great one, write what you know. Writing, like anything else you do in life, has to be something you know, something you love, something that becomes so much a part of you that it’s second nature. And while writing can be difficult at times. Frustrating. Completely blocked and shut off, if you have fallen in love with the written word, with the process of writing, and the act of telling a story, then all of the bad just fades away in comparison to those moments of brilliance when they finally come. And trust me, they do come.

So if writing is your dream, and you are determined to make it happen, then don’t give up. Hold on to that dream with both hands. And write. Write every single day. Blog. Tweet. Journal old school style. Text if you have to. Just craft copy anyway and everywhere you go. And it will happen. The writer within will become the writer the world will see.

Happy writing!

Want to Write? Get a Plan

Almost all successful writing begins with a response to an idea, experience, problem, or question. It’s hardly ever random. And your response needs some kind of process, even if it’s a rather loose one, which is what I prefer, otherwise I get so caught up in the process of writing I never actually get pen to paper.

So as a jumping off point, any writing response requires the following process in order to get from A to Z successfully:

  • defining a purpose
  • knowing your audience
  • planning
  • drafting
  • revising
  • editing
  • revising
  • revising some more
  • proofing

You can craft your process based off of this one. It may take some trial and error to see what actually works for you; you’ll find it. And once you do, your writing will flow so much more smoothly for you. What it will never do, however, is go from idea to finished product without a number of steps in between. But wouldn’t that be nice for a change?

Writing IS Hard

Of course it is. If it were easy, everyone would do it, and more importantly, do it well. But, they don’t. Most people hate writing, and most can barely put two sentences, let alone two words, together in a way that makes any sense whatsoever. And that’s where we come in. Writers. And editors. We do the work that others either don’t want to do, or can’t do.

Writers may be crazy, but trust me, there is a clear-cut reason for this. Bear with me. This will all make sense. While we all know that most people would rather gnaw off their own arm than write a single line of copy, these are the very same people who will tear apart and ruthlessly criticize the work that writers do. The work that they hire us to do for them. And while I do believe in the merits of constructive criticism, I take issue with the random rants of those who have no background or experience in editing the English language.

I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve been asked to make something that is grammatically correct incorrect because the “reviewer” has no editorial background whatsoever, and simply believes the copy is wrong. I am then forced to justify it. Pull out a style manual. Site a grammar rule. Provide an example. Explain why the copy is correct. I mean, seriously, I’m a writer. I’ve been writing for more than 20 years. What I am not is an English teacher. But at times, I feel I am more of the latter than the former.

I shouldn’t complain though. I know it’s an occupational hazard given the field I’m currently in. I do not work in the world of publishing anymore, surrounded by professional writers, editors, copy editors, and proofreaders. It’s a different reality now and I either have to just lower my expectations or accept my role as writer and teacher.

Because … Writing. Is. Hard.

Social Media and the Writer: The Big Picture

As a writer, your goal, with regard to using social media, is to generate a buzz about brand awareness. Spread the word. Reach the target audience using the tools they use and language they understand. Unfortunately, here is where a lot of writer’s drop the ball. It’s okay…this is new territory for most of us. The same thing happened when the Internet came along, and now look at us. Most, if not all, writers can say they are experts!

Social media is the same thing. New, but not unattainable. To master these tools, we need to just to get in there and use them. The thing is, we need to understand what they can and can’t do before we can recommend them to our clients. New challenges, but nothing we can’t deal with.

So here’s the big picture on social media and networking and what you as a writer need to know to make the most of it:

  • First, understand that this is a way to communicate and connect not only with friends, family, and colleagues, but with customers and more. Internet tools such as LinkedIn, Slideshare, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube give you instant access to the people you want to reach
  • Second, know that the Internet allows you to instantly collaborate, share information, and converse about ideas or causes you care about
  • Third, accept that you now work in a world where anyone can be a publisher, writer, reporter, artist, filmmaker, photographer, critic, pundit, or activist

Next step: try the tools out on your own and see what they have to offer. Then make the most of them, first for your own site, then for your clients.

Writing…Interrupted

It never fails. No matter what project I am working on, no matter how quickly the ideas are flying out of my head, and the pen is moving across the paper (or my fingers are striking the keyboard), something comes up. Always.

And do you know why? Though writing is one of the loves of my life, that I truly do live for the written word, I actually have a life, and life is messy. It cannot be lived without running into problems. Bumping into obstacles. Being sidelined by roadblocks along the way. For instance…

  • Snow days, the kids are home…and they need attention every 5 seconds
  • Sick days, and not for you, but again, for your kids…and again, they need attention. And rest.
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Dentist appointments
  • School meetings
  • A day job with a billion and one deadlines
  • Grocery shopping
  • House cleaning
  • Car problems
  • Late buses
  • Taxes
  • Legal issues
  • Relationships in general

This list could go on, and on, and on….with no end in sight. And for most people, it does.

But so what! If writing is your passion, then you will find a way to work around all those little things that not only interrupt your writing in general, but interrupt your life as a whole. Because writing, like any other job you could do, will always get side-tracked and as a professional, it is you responsibility to find a way to your success. To make it happen…for you.

Is it easy? Hell no. But then again, what really is…