For Writers
The thing about writing is it must be for yourself first. If you're in it for fame and fortune, you might have better luck in Vegas. The money, if you are lucky enough to get any, won't support you, much less a family.

The thing about writing is you've got to be in it because you LOVE TO WRITE. Remember at its best, writing is a love affair with words. And you might be the only one who sees the beauty in your object of affection. But if you do nothing else, you must Share. That. Beauty.

The thing about writing is it can be learned. You don't have to be a genius to write. You can read great books, attend conferences, submit your work for review, join a critique group, and keep on writing until your words shimmer and shine and actually produce electricity. It's a matter of doing it, of practicing, of investing time and energy into learning a craft. Don't let anyone tell you what you're trying to do can't be done.

The thing about writing is once you've climbed one mountain, you immediately see another one waiting for you. There is no end to this journey. You may thing publication is the end, but it's not. After publication comes marketing and promotion. And eventually, when you've spent yourself, it will be time to write again.

The thing about writing is there is no end to it. No piece is ever finished. They are all works in progress. Forever. And to be a writer is to be committed to revision - to the process of opening your mind enough to see a much loved piece of writing in a new way. To find its flaws and correct them.

The thing about writing is it is a bold thing to do. Setting words on paper takes courage. Sharing them with others is the ultimate act of faith.

The thing about writing is it is about believing. Believing in yourself, your idea, your way of thinking. Be patient with yourself when you find your heart riddled with self-doubt. Believe that this too shall pass.

The thing about writing is it is not just about you. Sure, you are the one whose heart pumps its contents onto the page. But you haven't completed your duty until someone else picks up that piece of paper. The goal is communication.

The thing about writing is it is a way to love yourself and the people around you. It is a record of the human experience. Your human experience. So keep on writing those words down because I want to read them.

Editing Checklist for Poets
Is Your Poem the Best it Can Be?


What to look for

  1. A beginning that hooks the reader
  2. It sounds good when you read it out loud
  3. Everything makes sense – the reader can understand what you’re talking about
  4. No spelling or punctuation mistakes (mistakes can take a reader right out of the poem)
  5. Uses action verbs
  6. Uses specific, descriptive language
  7. Uses figurative language (similes, metaphors)
  8. Engages at least two senses
  9. Gives us a surprise (usually at the end)
  10. Makes the reader feel an emotion (hint: usually has to do with emotion, makes reader FEEL something. The is the YOU in the poem. Dare to be honest. Write as if you are talking to your best friend.)


Books for Writers

WRITING ALONE AND WITH OTHERS by Pat Schneider
THE INVISIBLE CHILD by Katherine Paterson
FROM WHERE YOU DREAM by Robert Olen Butler
THE POETRY HOME REPAIR MANUAL by Ted Kooser
WRITING DOWN THE BONES by Natalie Goldberg
ON WRITING by Stephen King
THE LANGUAGE OF LIFE by Bill Moyers
BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott
ZEN AND THE ART OF WRITING by Ray Bradbury
THE POET'S COMPANION by Kim Addonizio & Dorianne Laux
BECOMING A WRITER by Dorothea Brande
STEIN ON WRITING by Sol Stein
TAKE JOY by Jane Yolen
THE LEFT-HANDED STORY by Nancy Willard
SECOND SIGHT by Cheryl B. Klein


Author ABCs:


Agent, Beginnings, Change , Danger, Everyman, Fresh, Good Enough, Haunted, Innovation, Just Do It, Keep Going , Live, Marketing, Notes, OMG, Patience, Questions, Raw, Show Me,Tell, Us, Voice, Writer's Block, X Factor, Yes, Zzzzzz


Blocked? Find inspiration here.

» 30 Habits of Highly Effective Poets #19

» Find out how books are like candles.

» Poetry as Practice; Poetry as Life.

» How to deal with envy.

» I love meeting young readers & writers!.

» How to create suspense in middle grade novels.

Think you don't have time/space to write?
YOU DO! » Find out how.

Irene answers the question, Why Write Poetry?

Poets: join Poetry Friday, the most generous poetry community in the world!
Resources for Young Writers

Teen Ink
Write On Teens
Figment
Kid Pub Press
National Writing Project
Write It
Alliance for Young Writers & Artists
Publishing links at Anastasia Suen
More links for young writers at Teaching Authors