HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Even if it’s not your tradition, it’s a day to be grateful and count your blessings.

I’m having guests, house guests and cooking a turkey dinner. I’m thankful for all of it.

I will blog again next Thursday, so follow me here.

Have a blessed, joyful day.

Incentives for Writing

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Whether you’re been writing for a long or short period of time, we sometimes need motivation to write. I’ve been writing since I was eight years old, but I sometimes get discouraged and lose motivation too.

Blogging is something that motivates my writing. It’s instant gratification. You write and publish instantly, and often get feedback very quickly. And if you have a fair amount of followers, all the better. You don’t have to wait months to hear from a publisher, magazine or journal. It’s out there for everyone to read.

A routine can be an incentive also. I usually write, depending on my appointments that day, right after breakfast. I associate that cereal, fruit and tea with writing and sometimes even start the process while I’m eating. I start thinking about what I’ll be writing after I finish. Writing after breakfast will also give you energy and prevent you from getting sluggish.

Another way to motivate is through social media. I know most of us think of social media as a time waster, but try using it. When you run out of steam with your writing, take a social media break. Look at Facebook or Instagram. I know many people think of it as a time waster, but look at the ideas of other people. You can even use some of the dialog in your writing. If you are on with other writers, you may get incentive from them and their process.

Try reading. I spend a good deal of my non-writing time reading. I’m a poet, so I often read new poets or my favorites. If I’m stuck on a problem, like how to write a particular form, like a Quatern, I’ll read other poets in this form and see how they have handled this. I’ll read novels just for the use of language in certain ways. It’s also just a pleasure for me to read good literature. Sometimes I read my friends most recent books and review them on social media.

I will be blogging on Thursdays about the writing process. Follow me here on WordPress.

Writers Read on October 23 in Ware, Massachusetts

There is going to be an in-person reading of prose and poetry at Grand Hall, Workshop 13 Cultural Arts and Learning Center in Ware, Massachusetts on Sunday, October 23 at 2 pm. If you’re in the area, do drop in. It’s right down Route 9, which is glorious fall now. Grand Hall is at 13 Church St. , Ware.

See Workshop13.org for more details.

Failure Is Part of the Creative Process

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Trying out new things is part of the creative process. Things can change at any stage in a painting’s or manuscript’s development. 

The writing process is an exciting and adventurous process. It sometimes feels electrifying and at other times, downright discouraging.  A writer needs to go in knowing that it might not work.   It means that results don’t matter as much as the process, the joy and the journey.

I try to keep this in mind every time I sit down at a blank page. An athlete has to work out to get to a point where she wins the competition. A writer sometimes has to fail many times before succeeding.

You may think that what you wrote is terrible, but it may work out later in a future draft, or help you get, through experimentation, to a wonderful manuscript. t’s part of the journey to that wonderful piece that finally works.

I’ll be blogging on Thursdays about the writing process. Follow me on WordPress at http://www.eileenpkennedy.com

Blogging v. Writing

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How does blogging differ from writing? I guess when I sit down to write a poem or prose piece, I have a more formal block in my head. I think the main thing is that blogging is more spontaneous. You could argue that blogging has changed formal writing. But if you can write, you can blog.

The conventions of writing and blogging are very different. Run-0n sentences and asides don’t work in a blog. Short declarative sentences do.

Print stories are often written in the third person, especially nonfiction. Blogs are mostly in the I, first person.

In books, footnotes are frequently used to tell the backstory on your topic. They take up space. Hyperlinks serve a similar purpose in blogging. No one has to read them unless they click on them and they take very little space.

I enjoy blogging as a variation to my poetry. I will blog on Thursdays about the writing process. Follow me here at WordPress.

Using the Library for Writing

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I was struggling with writing a poem about a historical incident. I just couldn’t find a way into the poem. I tried locking myself in my study, ignoring the phone when it rang, procrastinating with housework, but nothing worked.

Then a writer friend of mine made a suggestion. Go to the Library. I live in Massachusetts where every town has a town library, but it just didn’t occur to me. I’ve read many articles and blogs on how to focus as a writer, but I hadn’t tried my local library.

I organized my writing materials as best I could, convinced I would leave important things at home that I would need there. I allowed for time to get to and from the library (about eight minutes each way. ) I carried my computer and notes to the car and set off.

When I arrived there, I found a lovely place to sit, a desk with partitions that actually blocked me from other desks. It was quiet and I easily tuned my computer into the wifi, and soon enough I was writing a rough draft. I came to a point where I needed to confirm some historical information, and the reference librarian was at the ready to help.

I wound up bringing the draft home and finishing it there. I recently submitted the poem. I don’t know if it will be accepted, but at least I finished it and it’s off my desk.

I’ll be blogging on Thursdays and doing announcements on Tuesdays as they come along. Follow me.

LISTENING TO YOUR INNER VOICE

Sometimes I wait until the last minute to write what I want. Why is that?

In the end, I try to listen to my inner voice that speaks my true thoughts that ultimately helps me cut through nonsense that sometimes enters into my writing. Good writing comes from the true self.

I

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Join me in imagining and getting in touch with your inner self. Try writing from that one true voice.

I’ll continue to blog on Thursdays, with announcements, as they come, on Tuesdays. If you’d like me to make an announcement for an upcoming reading, publication or award, get in touch with me her.

Sometimes Failure Is Part of the Process

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Experimenting is part of the creative process. Things can change at any stage in a painting’s or manuscript’s development. 

The writing process is an exciting and adventurous process. It sometimes feels electrifying and at other times, downright discouraging.  A writer needs to go in knowing that it might not work.   It means that results don’t matter as much as the process, the joy and the journey.

I try to keep this in mind every time I sit down at a blank page. An athlete has to work out to get to a point where she wins the competition. A writer sometimes has to fail many times before succeeding. It’s part of the journey to that wonderful piece that finally works.

I’ll be blogging on Thursdays, and posting announcements, as they come, on Thursdays. Follow me on WordPress at http://www.eileenpkennedy.com

Book Titles

I am terrible at titles. I’ve published three books and each one wound up with a different title than I proposed.

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And I’ve published two poetry collections. Each poem,aside from an occasional haiku, has its own title. Here are some things I’ve learned about titling:

  1. A book title should be memorable. It’s the one thing that will lead people back to the book.
  2. A book title should be short. Shorter is generally better than longer. My first collection of poetry was one word: Banshees: Poems. It was one word, but let people know it was a poetry collection.
  3. A book title should provide information about the book. For my poetry book titles, I list the title and then poems, so that people will know it’s a poetry collection. The textbook I published had a very informative title: Ready to Use Lessons and Activities for the Primary Inclusive Classroom. This is neither short nor particularly memorable, but people knew exactly what it was. This is important with nonfiction. My editor convinced me of this and I think she was right.
  4. A title should set a mood. My second collection of poetry was on a hard subject: Alzheimer’s Disease. I wrote it about my experiences with my partner who died of this dread disease. I called the collection Touch My Head Softly. This gave a softer feel to this difficult topic. Check out this book, my latest, at:

    https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/touch-my-head-softly-by-eileen-kennedy/

Using Your Dreams in Your Writing

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Do you dream at night? Do you remember your dreams? Have you ever used your dreams in your writing? Whatever thoughts, ideas or imaginations your mind comes up with when you sleep can be translated into creative writing.

I find the first step is to write down your dreams. Keep a notebook and pencil by your bed and write them down as soon as you wake up. Some psychologists believe that when farmers went to bed at sundown and rose at sunrise, they would wake up in the night and use the middle of the night as their creative time, including writing time.

Think of your dreams as writing prompts, rather than a whole novel. Although some fiction writers do write down their dreams. It may be a creative idea that is nagging at you to come out. The world is stressful these days, and frightening thoughts might come up, but use them as the start of a poem or story.

William Blakes “Land of Dreams” came from his very lively subconscious:

Awake, awake my little Boy!

Thou wast thy Mother’s only joy:

Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep?

Awake! Thy Father does thee keep.

I will blog on Thursdays, with announcements on Tuesdays, when I have them. Follow me on WordPress.