Real talk: Someday, I want to be a household name. People will point at me and say “Hey, I know that mop!” “She’s my favorite microwave!” I want to be as useful to you as your Vitamix and your vibrator.
That’s the long term goal. For now, the goal is just to write more and get that writing out into the world, which is why I’m taking a break from poetry (omg, inspirations gods please don’t smite me) and focusing on my non-fiction/blog/pseudo-essay writing interests. I’m pleased to tell you that my first work of this kind was just up at Women Who Submit the other day. Please click over and visit the amazing ladies of the WWS community and read 7 Ways for Women Writers to Make 2018 a Stronger, Kinder, More Kick-Ass Year. Here’s a peek at what you’ll find there:
Make new friends. Surround yourself with good people digitally & physically. You can make friends on social media by interacting through comments and re-tweets, you can make new friends IRL by attending a workshop, or asking an acquaintance you admire out for coffee. I’ve reached an age where I’ve begun to think making new friends is close to impossible, or at least improbable. But it only takes one new exciting connection to renew your faith in friendships. Open yourself to making that connection.
Write fan letters. I have only written fan letters a handful of times over the years, but almost every time I’ve had a positive experience connecting with a writer that I admire. Sometimes fangirling someone else gains you a fan in the process. Plus, you’re making someone feel good by sharing a genuine compliment, or story about how their work touched your life.
Because my first two tips are about friendships and fangirling, please bear with me while I take my own advice.
Last night at The Poetry Lab, I learned two of my favorite people (and PL members) LeAnne Hunt and Patrick Verebely are actively working on their new blog sites. This morning I took the time to visit each of them and see what they’re all about. Now, I’m bananas in love with these websites (and so excited that I have such wonderful, kind, exceptional humans as friends! IRL!)
LeAnne is creating a new writing prompt almost every day, here’s a small sample of one of her prompts, The Temple of Your Body:
If your body is a temple, whom do you welcome inside? If your body is a temple, what hymns are sung inside? Is the hymn book from your childhood? If not hymns, what music or rhythms move your body—jazz, pop, waltz, dirge? If your body is a temple, what incense is burned? Frankincense and myrrh, sandalwood, lavender, patchouli? Or do you spray Febreze to cover the odors you cannot drive out? Is your temple domed or turreted or simply a covered courtyard? Is a breeze allowed in? Does sun shine through stained-glass windows? Or is your temple in darkness, shrouded? Can your worshippers see cracks in the walls? Or is your temple draped in velvet? Who stands there? Who speaks your message? What are the words?
Patrick is blogging about everything from books he’s read to blogging itself–so meta! Here’s a short preview of the gold standard over at Patrick’s Words on the Page:
The Benefits of Blogging
Although there are many benefits to be gained from blogging, I’m going to talk about the benefits that I have personally reaped from blogging.
It’s All About the Deadline—and the Discipline: The weekly deadline forces me to write. It makes me more disciplined. It makes me more organized, a goal I’ve long striven for. (And continue to strive for.)
It Creates Good (Writing) Habits and Promotes Good Skills: Because of this weekly blog writing that I’ve undertaken, a writing schedule is organically emerging—which is an unexpected blessing—thanks to this, and National Novel Writing Month last month (and years prior?), and the ongoing regular writing of speeches for Toastmasters.
It makes me a better writer: It helps me stay focused, and motivated, which extends to other writing projects. It helps me move forward—in life—and in my writing life; that momentum that blogging builds carries over to them both, which is an unexpected godsend, and a blessing.
It is beyond inspiring–it is straight up heartmelting–to see fellow writers take up space on the internet to do what they love. To LeAnne and Patrick, congratulations and bravo. I’m so impressed and excited by both of you!
Usually, I give snarky, pessimistic advice (that is to say I don’t give advice at all), but 2018, for me, is about trying to work up the courage to be more positive. To make room for my anxiety to pass through, but not control me. It’s a day-by-day thing. Wherever you find yourself in your journey, take my advice and when you’re done here give yourself a pat on the back.
Sit down and do a little writing of your own.
Take a break and give yourself a compliment.
Eat some fro yo.
Whatever it is, do it for yourself and do it with kindness. You deserve that. You’re favorite electric toothbrush really thinks so.