I am proud to announce the cover for my new poetry collection entitled, Reflections and Dreams. This will be a collection of thirty lyrical poems, but I am not sure when I will publish it – I think I will self-publish this since there isn’t a lot of demand for poetry.
These poems, which I began writing three years ago, relate to things I have experienced and things I dream about, hence the name of the title. Each poem is either a reflection or a dream and they are about the people in my life, the places I have been and my relationship with God. For instance, one poem is about my ex-wife and our marriage. Another one is about my cultural heritage. I suppose one must understand me before they can understand the poems, but then again poetry is meant to be read first, ask questions later. You might say the man standing on the rock in the image is….well, me.
Poetry fans and non-poetry fans will like this, because it relates to all of us. If you read the poems carefully, you’ll end up saying, “Why, yes! I can relate to that.” I have been actively submitting these poems individually to contests, and one of them was published last year. I’m hoping for more success. Since things are kind of hectic in my life, I can’t say when this will be released. I’m hoping for sometime in the next two years, depending on how things go. If I’m successful, I hope you will be the first to buy it. I’m sure it will be a great read! I’ll be putting more information up about my poems soon.
Writing for some is a hobby; for others it’s a way to make a living. Either way, writing is one of those things where we spent many hours holed up alone behind a computer. Writing is indeed something that is done in solitude for many reasons. I won’t go into detail why, but the thing is we should not write alone; we need to interact with others in the writing process, so we can grow as writers.
One way to interact with other writers is to join a writer’s group. I’ve been with one for nearly two years, and I can tell you that without it I probably would have given up on writing all together. Now some people hesitate in joining groups, since many believe that they do not wish to share their writing until it is published. While I respect those individuals, it is still a good idea to join a group whether you’re a beginner or a professional writer. Writing groups can do the following:
- provide a way to meet other writers with different abilities and styles
- offer feedback for your own work
- educate you about the writing process and the publishing industry
- make new friends and get out of the house
- provide workshops and seminars
With so many writing groups out there, how do you know which one you should choose? Unfortunately, there are some bad writing groups. My very first writing group, whose name shall remain anonymous, was less than great. While the group leader was published and offered good advice, that person only liked certain genres and did not hesitate to tell someone if his or her work sucked – I was one of those victims, and as a result became discouraged in my own writing. I guess that individual let their personal views get in the way of their judgment. The exact words from the leader were, “This will never sell, and you need to write a story about a car chase.” With that I left the group, and it was the best decision I made for my writing career. Choose a writing group that offers the following:
- a leader that is supportive that offers constructive feedback; one that welcomes writers of all genres and levels
- a group that meets offline as well as online
- allows every member a chance to voice an opinion as well as ask questions
- offers a variety of sessions (not just a weekly critique session). One that offers a general critique session one week, and a guest speaker the next. Also the group should focus on certain themes (developing a reader audience, etc.)
- is active; this group should have at least one meeting per month.
- MAKES WRITING FUN
So get out there and join a writing group today. You’ll be glad you did!
Where to write…at home? the office? your local coffee shop? For some, the answer is obvious while others need to outweigh the pros and cons of each. It might seem unimportant, but where you do your writing makes a lot of difference – it can motivate you to write that new chapter, or send you into the perils of Writer’s Block. So you need to decide which place is the best for you so you can write effectively without any distractions.
I personally don’t write in one place alone; I actually write more in my local coffee shop than I do at home. Why? Because I’m more motivated to write and there’s no temptation to go online or do something else unrelated. Being around other people late at night in a coffee shop helps me write more and I often get through most of a chapter in one hour of writing. Though at times I do write at home, but I simply prefer writing elsewhere.
Are you struggling to find the best place to write? I’ll offer you some of the advantages and disadvantages to writing at home and a coffee shop. Hopefully it will help, but in the end you must decide what works best for YOU.
- no time limit; can write as much as you need without worrying about closing time
- quiet, and private (assuming you live alone)
- can take a washroom/snack break without worrying about leaving your computer unguarded
- can write in your PJs without embarrassment
- distractions (partner, roommate and kids constantly bugging you for something)
- temptation to go on to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
- lack of fresh air (if you write all day)
- encourages house arrest
In a Coffee Shop
- time limit – it closes eventually, which makes you write faster.
- gets you away from the distractions of family
- can buy a snack or a drink if you need it
- can get more writing done, especially if you leave the battery charger at home because you’re on a time limit
- no temptation to go online (best to turn off your WiFi so you won’t be tempted)
- expensive – coffee ain’t free!
- distractions from other patrons
- can’t leave your stuff unguarded (unless you really trust the person sitting next to you)
- time limit – you can’t stay forever
- getting there – traffic and weather can make this tough sometimes
- space – at times all the seats are taken (this happens to me a lot)
Well there you have it. So choose wisely and happy writing. And one other thing: I’d like to offer some tips to those that like the idea of writing in a coffee shop
- try to go in the evening – fewer people there at that time
- leave your plug at home so you know you only have so much time to write
- go during the week. Weekends are usually more busy.
- if it gets too loud, stop writing and pack it up. You can always go back another time.